AFM 200-25  16 January 1961              Korean War POW/MIA Network

Brennan, John Charles

A/3C; AF 11227081
17th Bomb Wing;    Gunner B-26; 44-34699A

Identifying Data:  Birth Date. 25 February 1933   Race. Caucasian

Eyes: blue; Hair: brown; Height: 6'9"; Weight: 125 lbs.

Distinguishing Marks. Appendectomy scar, 6 cm.; circular scar under chin, 2 cm.

Circumstances of Loss:

1. Reported MIA 14 November 1952.

2. About 0032 hours, 14 November 1952, Brennan's plane disappeared from radar control. Planes diverted to the area of last contact observed ground fires covering an area of 100 to 200 feet, but the fires were not definitely determined to be from a plane crash.

Subsequent Reports:

1st Lt Andrew M. Schmidt, repatriated pilot of the plane, reported:

1. His plane was hit aft at 13,000 feet by enemy fire. The plane's controls were destroyed and it went into a steep glide. He ordered bailout at about 0027 hours. A/3C Brennan, seated on his right, assisted in releasing the canopy. When it popped, he (Schmidt) was partially pulled out of the cockpit into the slipstream. He was held there momentarily by his parachute, which was caught. When it freed itself, he was sucked over the top of the plane. He landed safely and was captured 3 days later. He last observed Brennan starting a normal bailout over the right side of the plane.

2. He felt that the three other crewmen (A/3C Brennan, 1st Lt Ralph A. Neis, and 1st Lt Edward Guthrie) were still alive because after landing he saw pieces of escape and evasion equipment similar to their own. Also, he found the enemy had information about him that could be obtained only from one of the crewmen. The interrogators corrected him occasionally on his personal background and knew that he had attended a university and had been a marine in the last war. In addition, after emptying his escape kit, they returned the plastic bag and told him he could use it to keep the picture of his wife in, which was exactly what he had told the crew he intended to do in such circumstances. He was told by an interrogator at one point that it would be useless for him to lie or resist because they had the other crewmen.

3. On one occasion, an interrogator left his interrogation kit in his cell. He searched it and found handwriting of other POW's, including, he was certain, that of A/SC Brennan.

Conclusion:

Lt Schmidt's report indicates a good possibility that at least one other crew member, A/3C Brennan, was in enemy hands. The evidence cannot be taken as conclusive proof, however, since it is possible the enemy could have obtained their information by other means.

Personal History:

Birthplace. Boston, Mass.

Cities of Residence. Groveton, N.H.

Marital Status. Single.

Parents. (redacted)

Civilian Schools. High School, Groveton, N.H., 1951.

Military Schools. Lowry AFB, Colo, (turret system mechanic, Jan. 52); Lowry AFB, Colo, (flax gunner, Feb. 52).

Previous Occupation. Truck driver.

Korean War POW/MIA Network