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Tech Sergeant Francis M Brigham

Tech Sergeant Francis M Brigham

Male Abt 1923 - 1943  (~ 20 years)  Submit Photo / DocumentSubmit Photo / Document

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  • Name Francis M Brigham 
    Prefix Tech Sergeant 
    Born Abt 1923  Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Census 1930 
    1930 Brigham 13.
    1930 Brigham 13.
    1930 US census, Ellington, Tolland, Connecticut, enumeration district 7-6, Family Number 207, Brigham.
    Census 1940 
    Census 1940 
    Military Service U.S. Army Air Corps, WWII Find all individuals with events at this location 
    History by: Michael Stupinski

    Born in 1923, at the time of the 1930 census Frank was 6 years old and lived at 33 Elizabeth Street with his father George, a lumber yard dealer, his mother Adelphine, and a sister, Marion, age 4. He had completed 4 years of high school and was single when he enlisted for duty in Hartford on July 9, 1941. He gave his occupation as truck driver. Assigned to the 320th Bomber Squadron, 90th Bomber Group, 5th Air Force, he was a radioman / gunner on a B24. His Army Serial Number was 11010936

    On January 9, 1943, near the island of New Britain in the Southwest Pacific, Frank's aircraft (serial number 772, the "Little Eva") was tracking a Japanese convoy that had been sighted by another aircraft. Flying at 7,000 feet, they spotted the convoy and prepared to make a bombing run against it. At that point 8 Japanese Zeros, flying in groups of four, attacked the bomber from head-on, making repeated runs against the plane. On the sixth attack the nose gunner on the bomber was presumably hit, as he stopped firing. On one of the last runs, the pilot was severely wounded by a bullet that then passed through Sgt. Brigham's left shoulder, also severely wounding him.

    The co-pilot took over the controls and dove for cloud cover. The aircraft lost power and the co-pilot prepared the crew for a water landing. The navigator had, by this time, treated Sgt. Brigham's wound the best he could under the circumstances. The wounded pilot helped the co-pilot land the aircraft in the water.

    The plane had broken up and was burning when the co-pilot got out of it. He found two empty life rafts, but no other members of the 9-man crew, including Sgt. Brigham, survived. He was in the raft for 9 days before landing on an island, and was eventually picked up after another 4 weeks had passed. Attempts to locate the aircraft and recover the bodies of the crew were fruitless. There is a monument to Sgt. Brigham at Fort William McKinley in Manila, The Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal and the Purple Heart. 
    Died 9 Jan 1943  Pacific Theater WWII Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Siblings 3 siblings 
    Headstones Submit Headstone Photo Submit Headstone Photo 
    Person ID I8061  Nagel
    Last Modified 12 Sep 2017 

    Father Sergeant George Newton Brigham,   b. 13 Feb 1896, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Mar 1979, Ellington, Tolland, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Adelaphene Busher,   b. 1899,   d. 18 Mar 1970, Vernon, Tolland, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Married Abt 1922 
    Family ID F2759  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart