Personnel Index - Detail

First Names
John Watson
Service Number
Crew Position
Air Gunner
Posting In
Posted in 10/42


Flew four operations with 49Sqn as a mid-upper air gunner.

Further research concerning this airman by the Association Researcher, Colin Cripps, has unearthed a fascinating story.........

John Watson Brant was an American from Illinois and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in November 1941 with the service number R137412.
On the 23rd of October 1942 Brant was posted in from 1660 Conversion Flight as an Acting Air Gunner.

He flew on four Operations with 49 Squadron 7/11/42.....20/11/42.....30/1/43 (shown as L Brant), and 4/2/43.
According to the records he was Bomb Aimer on the 30th Jan 43, however this is incorrect.......F/O C E Franklin was the Bomb Aimer and Sgt E Phillips Rear Gunner.

On each Operation, Brant flew with a different crew and I believe he was only with 49 Sqdn for experience as we have no date for his posting out.

On the 25th of March 1943, Brant was posted with a crew from 1654 HCU to 50 Sqdn. He flew on 23 Ops from April 43 to September 43 as an Air Gunner.

On the 1st of June 1943, Brant like other Americans who had joined the RCAF, transferred to the USAAF and was given the rank of Technical Sgt and the serial number 10601028. As with other Americans he was asked to remain on detached service with the RAF.

On the 4th of October 1943 and on his 24 Op, still with 50 Squadron, Brant was flying in Lancaster VN-H serial number W4905 on a raid to Frankfurt. Together with only three of his original crew.

At 22.55 hrs W4905 was attacked by Lt Otto Bruning from 1./JG300 on a "Wilde Sau"  mission over Frankfurt, Bruning claiming it as his second "Abschuss". However..... the 88mm Flak Unit based at the Goethe Tower, Sachsenhausen, also fired at the aircraft as it came down and with a direct hit W4905 exploded mid air killing all the crew. The Flak unit being fully credited with the "Abschuss"

W4905 was coned by searchlights of 2./Flakscheinw. Abt 299, 1 & 2./Flakscheinw. Abt 399 and 3./Flakscheinw. Abt 129, hit by Gross Batterie Neu-Isenburg, 5./schw. Flak Abt 396 and 5./schw. Flak Abt.255 and crashed at 21.37hrs at Sachsenhausen.

Due to Brant now being an American he is not listed on the CWGC.

Lt Otto Bruning went on to claim 12 aircraft as "Abschuss". On the night of 30-31st January 1944 Bruning was killed in a crash at Monchengladbach when his aircraft ran out of fuel.

Following burial in Belgium, John was finally interred, post war, in the Brant family grave in Illinois (John's home town).

Click this link to read the full details of the loss on the excellent "Aircrew Remembered" website........opens in a new window