Joseph William BrandColonel
354TH TFS, 355TH TFW, 7TH AF
United States Air Force
01 May 1925 - 31 May 1977
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The database page for Joseph William Brand
I never knew you, but for 34 years I have carried your POW/MIA bracelet. Until today I did not know you had died. My father died in Vietnam also - PSGT Joseph Lester Hockenberry. You are a hero.
Leslie Jo Hockenberry Johnson Gashimov
To the family of Col. Joseph W. Brand, I wanted you to know that my prayers have always been with you. It is simple to say, "He died for his country", but to have to live all those years without your loved one is totally heartbreaking. I didn't know Col. Brand personally, but I too had a MIA bracelet. I have had it since I was 13 years old and I am now 49 years old. I wore his bracelet till the end of the war and have kept it in my jewelry box ever since. I had tried several times to find out about Col. Brand, but didn't have any luck, so when the MIA/POW flag came out, I hung it outside in his name and hoped that someday he would be found.
I heard on a local radio station that "The Moving Wall" was being displayed at Country Club Hills, Illinois, from Aug 11th - Aug 17th. I took my bracelet with me yesterday when I went to see "The Moving Wall", I was a little nervous when I was given the panel and line number. I wasn't expecting all the emotions that came with seeing his name on the wall. I asked one of the volunteers if there was a way to find out more information about Col. Brand and they referred me to this website. I now feel some peace knowing more about him and will continue to fly my MIA/POW flag not only in memory of him, but also for those that are still missing. Please know that "He Will Not Be Forgotten"
My name is Deborah Sullivan. I never knew Colonel Brand, but I bought a POW/MIA bracelet when I was 12 that had his name on it. My Dad served in Thailand and was gone for a year when I was nine so my heart was very touched at the opportunity to pray for our soldiers. I prayed for Col. Brand and his family for many years. I always wondered if he came home. My Dad and I were talking recently about POWs and I reminded him of my bracelet. We did a lot of searching when the war ended, but never found any information then. I remember sitting in front of the TV watching lists of names - and searching for his... and praying for his family. Dad asked if I had ever found out any information about Col. Brand. No - I hadn't. I got my bracelet out and gave it to Dad... and he found this site.
To the family of Colonel Brand, please know that I have prayed for him and for you for so many years - even after the war ended. I hope that you have peace in your heart and in your life. And I pray that God will find a way to bring restoration to your lives for the lost years. As a Colonel, I know he spent many years serving his country. And I know your family served and sacrificed with him. Thank you. And God Bless you.
Deborah Sullivan Heintze
To the family of Colonel Joseph Brand,
In cleaning out my very old jewelry box, I found what I thought I had lost decades ago, my silver POW bracelet. I had offered up many prayers for Colonel Brand and in researching it today on the internet, I discovered that his remains had been returned to you. When I first put the bracelet on as a young junior high student, I thought and prayed for him countless times. I never knew what branch of the military he was in, his mission, his home state or anything other than his name and rank, just that he needed my prayers. I hope that he felt those prayers and those of the many others that were offered up. In reading about his mission, and the after action releases, I am again reminded of how proud I am of the many service men and women who have given their time and too often their lives so that I could grow up and live in a free nation.
I will continue to pay tribute to him on Memorial Day and each and every Fourth of July in gratitude for his sacrifice.
Notes from The Virtual WallOn 17 August 1966 Major Joseph W. Brand, pilot, and Major Donald M. Singer, electronic warfare officer (EWO), both of the 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron, departed Takhli RTAFB, Thailand, flying lead in a flight of four F-105F aircraft. The flight's assigned mission was to search out and destroy surface-to-air missile and antiaircraft artillery sites in North Vietnam. Brand and Singer were in F-105F tail number 63-8308.
According to available information, the flight had just departed the primary target area when the flight leader sighted a lucrative target and directed an attack by lead and his wingman to expend their remaining ordnance. The second section (aircraft #3 and #4) were to provide MiG cover during the ground attack.
Immediately after lead released his ordnance, number three observed canopy jettison and ejection by both crew members, with the aircraft impacting in the vicinity of the ground target. Number three saw one parachute blossom; number four saw one fully deployed parachute and a second partially open parachute. Brand's wingman (aircraft #2) did not witness the ejection, nor did he see the parachutes. Because the three remaining aircraft were maneuvering, none of the aircrews was able to watch the parachutes all the way to the ground, but the two chutes were sighted on the ground near the aircraft wreckage. Both parachutes were removed shortly afterwards but it was impossible to determine who removed them. One voice call was received from Major Brand, and an emergency beeper was heard, but two-way radio contact was not established with either downed crewman. The crew was downed in a populated rural area with numerous rice paddies.
When search-and-rescue aircraft (A-1E SKYRAIDERS) arrived, they made repeated low passes looking for signs of the crew (flares, smoke, or other signals) and continued efforts to establish radio contact, but their efforts were unsuccessful. The two crewmen were classed as Missing in Action on termination of the formal SAR effort.
On 30 August 1966 the Hanoi news service reported that a U.S. aircraft was downed on 17 August in Nghia Lo Province. Over three years later (22 December 1969) a representative of "The Women's Strike for Peace Organization" visited Hanoi and returned with five letters which she stated had been given her by the North Vietnamese. According to the representative, the North Vietnamese stated the five addressees had died in their parachutes or in the crash of their aircraft. One of the letters returned was addressed to Major Singer by his wife. A news release on 7 January 1971 reported that Win Ton Lay, a DRV spokesman in Paris, stated that Major Singer was known to be dead. However, neither Major Brand nor Major Singer was included on any list provided by the North Vietnamese government to the U. S. government.
The two men were continued in MIA status for over a decade; during that time, both were promoted twice - first to Lieutenant Colonel, then to Colonel. On 31 May 1977 the Secretary of the Air Force approved a Presumptive Finding of Death for Colonel Brand, changing his status to Died while Missing.
On 30 September 1977 21 sets of identifiable human remains were repatriated; among them were the remains of both Colonel Brand and Colonel Singer. Identification of the two men was announced on 25 October 1977 and the Secretary of the Air Force approved a Finding of Death for Colonel Singer on the following day, 26 October 1977.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 23 Sep 2002
Last updated 01/04/2011