THE BRAUND STORY
In 2017 Sally Palmer contacted Van Wilson of 77 Squadron Association offering a collection of material relating to John and Paul Braund, twin brothers and pilots with 77 Squadron, who were both tragically killed in 1945, aged only 22.
This unique and moving collection contains the twins’ letters, documents, flight log books, photographs, caps and medals. We at the Association decided to pass the collection on to the Yorkshire Air Museum archive where it will remain for posterity. But Van Wilson, having read the documents and letters, decided that the story should be told to a much wider public. The letters from the twins to their parents are particularly poignant. They outline the men’s experiences from early Royal Air Force training in the USA, followed by instructing in Texas. Details about their time in the USA enabled their parents to find out more about what was happening. The close relationship they shared is evident from their comments and private jokes in the letters.
The twins moved to more intensive training in the UK and finally to 77 Squadron, then based at Full Sutton, in November 1944. They took part in a number of missions and became very popular with their comrades on the squadron. The twins were tragically killed within a month of each other in January and February 1945. Paul’s body, like those of his crew, was never found and their names are recorded on the Runnymede Memorial. John’s body was washed ashore near a small town in Denmark and was given a full military funeral by the resistance movement and local clergy, despite official orders against this. After the war, Paul’s name was also added to his brother’s grave, and their parents’ ashes were later buried in the same place.
William and Greta Braund had no other children but were close to their niece Margaret Braund. Her god-daughter Sally Palmer inherited the twins’ collection and was very keen to make sure all the material would be kept for posterity.
You can order a copy of this fully-illustrated book of 130pp, costing £10 inc post and packing (UK), from us: firstname.lastname@example.org with your address and payment to the bank:
77 Squadron Association
Sort code: 09 01 28
(If ordering from abroad, please check postage with us first)