Lieutenant Joseph Brandon

Joe Brandon(Yuma HS Yearbook Photo)

World War II and Korea

US Air Force
Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo, Texas
Service Number:
Born: June 17, 1922
Inducted: February 25, 1943
Discharged: 1945
Recalled: April 23, 1951
Died: October 1, 1951 at San Angelo, Texas
Buried: Fort Logan National Cemetery, Denver

Son of Mr. and Mrs. J.F. Brandon of Akron.

Joe Brandon Stone

The Akron News-Reporter November 1, 1951

Joe Brandon Dies in Crash When Trainer Plane Spins in on Flight at Texas Air Base

News-Reporter PhotoLt. Joe Brandon Jr., 29, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.F. Brandon of Akron, and a student officer, Lt. Cecil O. Brown of Baseline, Mich., were instantly killed when the T-6, Texan trainer, in which they had gone up on a routine training flight, spun in from comparatively low altitude and burst into flames immediately after crashing.

Funeral services for the popular Akron boy, who was a flight instructor at Goodfellow air force base, near San Angelo, were held Tuesday morning from the First Presbyterian church in Akron with Dr. D.A. Johnson, pastor of the church in charge, and the Rev. F.E. Dawson of the Methodist church assisting.

Mrs. Joe Spicknall, Miss Donna Reese, Steve Woodworth and Harold Wells sang "Under His Wings," and Mrs. Inez Krause Strauck of Brush sang "The Lord's Prayer," with Mrs. Beth Cooley accompanying on the organ.

The pallbearers were Terry Hall, Lee Goble, Harold Wise, Bill Krause, Kenny Keim and Gene Bishop.

Following the services in Akron the body was taken to Fort Logan and laid to rest with full military honors in the National Cemetery.

Eye-witness to the tragic accident was John W. Grissom, 60, a farmer on whose place the crash occurred. He told investigating air force personnel that he first saw the trainer when it was up about 1,000 feet and it already was in the spin.

At the time Grissom was standing in his back yard, perhaps 100 yards from where the plane crashed into the ground. The right wing was wrenched off the plane when it hit a barbed wire fence and gasoline was spewed over the wreckage, instantly transforming it into a raging mass of flames.

Grissom and another man connected several lengths of garden hose to a hydrant at the farm house and poured water on the blazing fuselage until the arrival of a San Angelo fire truck about ten minutes later.

Lt. Brandon, a World War II veteran, was recalled to service as a reservist on April 23, 1951, reporting to Goodfellow Field, where he had since been stationed, except for a six-weeks period between May 25 and July 7, when he attended a pilot instructors' school at Craig AFB, Selma, Ala.

Returning to Goodfellow from there, he had since been instructing, and under his direction Lt. Brown was receiving training in instrument flying in the Texan trainer when the accident that snuffed out their lives occurred.

The Akron boy graduated from the local high school in 1940, where he had been an outstanding athlete, as well as taking an extremely active part in all phases of the school curriculum.

He attended the University of Utah at Salt Lake City for two years before being called in the draft on Feb. 25, 1943. After being stationed at Atlantic City, N.J., he was transferred to Keesler Field, Miss., and later attended school in Michigan.

This college course in mining and technology was a training detachment for aviation students. After completing the course, Lt. Brandon was transferred on Aug 16, 1943 to Santa Ana, Cal., AFT where he was classified for pilot training.

He received his primary training at Ryan Field, Tucson, Ariz., and on Feb. 8, reported at Cal-Aero flight academy at Ontario, Cal. to start his basic training period.

After completing this, he reported to Williams Field, before being sent to Roswell, N.M. for indoctrination in the big B-17s. He received his instruction in piloting B-29s at Rapid City, S.D. AFB and was just ready for overseas duty when he war ended.

Lt. Brandon was discharged from active duty at Kirkland Field, Albuquerque, N.M. in the late fall of 1945. Returning to Denver he was employed briefly at the depot and post office, later attending school at Colorado A&M, Fort Collins, and then transferring to Denver University for another year of college.

In the fall of 1949, he accepted a position as principal of the Lone Star grade school, north of Otis and the following year moved to Yuma, where he taught in the grade school until resigning in March to re-enter service.

His popularity with all whom he was associated wherever he went is a tribute to his friendly sincerity, as well as a testimonial to the high esteem in which he was held by those who knew him best.

Mrs. A.R. Weeks, mother of Mrs. Brandon, and Mr. and Mrs. H.C. Norman of Woodward, Tex., attended the funeral services. Mrs. Norman is a sister of Mrs. Brandon.

The Otis Independent November 1, 1951

Funeral services were held in Akron Tuesday morning from the Presbyterian Church for Lt. Joe Brandon, Jr. 29, who was killed last Thursday evening at Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo, Texas. A student officer was also killed in the crash, the two men were on a routine training flight in a T-6 Texan Trainer. Interment was made at the Fort Logan Military Cemetery Tuesday afternoon.

Lt. Brandon is the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J.F. Brandon of the U.S. Experiment Station. He graduated from the Akron High School in 1940 and then entered the University of Utah at Salt Lake City, remaining there until February 25, 1943 when he was drafted into the service. He piloted B17's and B29's during the World War II and was discharged in 1945.

After receiving his discharge, he worked in the post office in Denver and attended Denver University. He taught in the grade school at Lone Star in 1949 and then he was employed in a similar capacity at Yuma in 1950 until he was recalled to duty April 23, 1951. Lt. Brandon was an outstanding athlete in high school and engaged in many athletic activities. He played with the Otis town basketball team for a time last season.

Joe Brandon Jr., was born July 17, 1922 at the old Eggleston Hospital in Akron, Colorado. Dr. Kaylor was the attending physician. He attended Star Grade School and the Akron High School where he graduated with the class of 1940.

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