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Donald E Brehm

War: World War II
Parent/Wife: William
City: Wisc. Rapids
Birth Date: 28 Jan 1916
Death Date: 17 Aug 1944
How Died: Plane crash
Where Died: Corsica
Where Buried: Italy
Rank: Pfc
Branch: Air Force

Kia=Killed in Action
Dow=Died of Wounds
Dod=Died of Disease
Mia=Missing in Action


Donald E. Brehm

Donald E. Brehm was born on January 28, 1916, in Wisconsin Rapids. He lived all of his life, until his military service, in Wisconsin Rapids. Donald was the son of William and Eva Brehm, and he had two younger brothers, Harold and Robert. Donald attended grade school at East Side Lutheran School, and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1936.

After high school, Donald worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps, a program which was set up by President Roosevelt to build bridges, schools, roads, etc.

On January 14, 1941, Donald enlisted in the United States Air Force, at the age of 24. His brother, Harold, also joined the Army at that time. Their younger brother, Robert, was still in school at the time, but he joined the Navy after high school.

Donald had his initial training at Jefferson Barracks in Missouri. Later, he was transferred to Shephard Field in Wichita Falls, Texas. Donald also had training at Amarillo Field in Texas, Fort Logan in Denver, and Johnson Field in North Carolina. In March of 1944, Donald was shipped to Italy, and later to Corsica. Donald was a tail gunner on a bomber plane flying missions over Germany from Italy.

Donald was killed in action on August 17, 1944, approximately five months after arriving. He was 28 years old. On his last mission, the plane he was on was shot upon; there is a very strong possibility that Donald was killed before the plane crashed. His parents received a telegram notifying them of the tragedy. Donald’s last letter home told of him repairing bombing aircraft after their missions over enemy territory. When the war ended, both Harold and Robert returned home. Donald’s body was buried in Italy.

Donald was never married and had no children, but his memory is still cherished by all of the family and friends who knew him. He risked and gave his life for his country, and his courage will never be forgotten.

Written by: Tori Huser, East Junior High School


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