James Nelson McBrayer was born in Calhoun, Georgia to James W. McBrayer and Ollie M. Miller.
Killed in Action

Memorialized at Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England

Aircraft 42-7489 was on a mission to Bordeaux-Cognac
There were no eyewitness accounts given by returning crews concerning the missing status of this crew. However, it was learned from crewmember survivors shortly thereafter, that this plane had been forced to ditch in the English Channel on the return route, (30) miles south of Brighton, England. This location of the plane’s ditching had been marked on a route map in the MACR of about (35) miles due south of Brighton on the southern coast of England.

Crew members
Pilot, 2nd Lt Clifford J. Hunter
Co-Pilot, 2nd Lt Paul N. Huston
Navigator, 2nd Lt Jack P. Gilman
Bombardier, 2nd Lt James N. McBrayer
Radio Operator, S/Sgt Walter R. Sichau
Engineer, S/Sgt Cecil D. Macklin
Ball Turret Gunner, S/Sgt Elwood J. Mills
Waist Guner, S/Sgt J.T. Grimes
Waist Gunner, S/Sgt Wallace L. Morrow
Tail Gunner, S/Sgt Verne A. Nelson

The Chattanooga Times, July 13, 1944
Reported killed in action, Second Lt. James Nelson McBrayer, son of Mrs. Ollie McBrayer, Ringgold, Ga., and brother of Mrs. Hays Clark, Chattanooga. Lt. McBrayer, bombardier aboard a B-17 Flying Fortress, was previously reported missing since March 5, following an air raid in the European area. He was the younger brother of Lt. Madison M. McBrayer, now a pilot with the ferry command in Africa. The Chattanooga bombardier, former shipping clerk of the Colonial Bakery, had made his home with the Clarks for a number of years prior to entering the air force. Other relatives of the airman are his sisters, Mrs. Henry White of Rosville, Miss Bertha McBrayer, Mrs. Giles Rutherford and Mrs. James Newman, and brothers, Richard and George, all of Ringgold.
A veteran of 14 bomber missions against the enemy, Lt. McBrayer has been awarded the Air Medal with the Oak Leaf Cluster and had seen action in raids on Berlin.
Relatives last week received a letter stating that McBrayer’s plane, which was badly battered by flak, went down in the English Channel. A British rescue boat saved six of the crew, but the remaining  four, including McBrayer, were lost. The telegram form the War Department to Mrs. Clark stated: “The secretary of war asks that I (Adj.-Gen. Ulio) assure you of his deep regret in the loss of your brother, Second Lt. James Nelson McBrayer, who was previously reported missing in action. Report received in the War Department establishes the fact that your brother’s death occurred March 5 in the European area. Letter follows.”

  • Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Date of birth:
  • 16 February 1916
  • Date of death: 5 March 1944
  • County: Hamilton
  • Hometown: Chattanooga
  • Service Branch: Army/Army Air Forces
  • Division/Assignment: 577th Bomber Squadron, 392nd Bomber Group, Heavy
  • Theater: Europe
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar X, Middle Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor J. Nelson McBrayer

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