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Some of this information comes from the biographical file for pilot Bransom, CB-636000-01, reviewed by me in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum (NASM), Washington, DC.


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Bransom's Wife, Mary Hardy, 1903-1989 (Source: Marler)
Bransom's Wife, Mary Hardy, 1903-1989 (Source: Marler)

From Helen Marler (cited, right sidebar) we find that George Bransom was born December 8, 1897 at Forestville, Prince Georges County, MD. He married Mary Hardy on May 23, 1931 at Atlanta, NY (Steuben County). His wife was born June 30, 1903 at East Orange, NJ. She and Bransom had two children, Mary Patricia (1933-2004) and Peter Ronald (1942-2006). Mary died August 27, 1989 at Brick, NJ.

He joined the military (Marine Corps) August 16, 1922.

He died October 14, 1942 in England. According to his granddaughter, "He was killed ... in a plane crash in the British Isles while working for the military, delivering mail." His interment was at the Arlington National Cemetery (buried in Section 12, Site 3675).

Washington Post, June 23, 1915 (Source: Marler)
Washington Post, June 23, 1915 (Source: Marler)





At right, an early, if very nebulous, reference to Bransom. At about seventeen years of age, he was a usher in his brother's wedding. This is documented in the last paragraph of the article.

In Bransom's NASM file (cited, left sidebar) there is a newspaper cartoon (quality not good enough to reproduce here) that pictorializes some of the aviation events in George W. "Pete" Bransom's life. For example, he started flying in the early 1920s, which would make him 23-25 years old. And he crashed an airplane into the side of a mountain in Nicaragua after dropping a load of bombs. He flew an Eastern Airlines DC-3 from Santa Monica, CA to Miami "on instruments". Below, from an Eastern Airlines brochure, is a portrait of Bransom from 1930.

From Bransom's granddaughter Lauralee Schramm, comes this information, "He was a Marine Naval Pilot, then a civilian pilot, working for Lockheed and was the first commercial pilot for Eastern Airlines, based in Newark, NJ. 

"I can tell you that he was the pilot that rescued Dick Merrill and Harry Richman from New Foundland, after their crash, under orders of Eddie Rickenbacker. 

Ms. Schramm continues, "He also was the first commercial pilot for Eastern Airlines [this is curious, because I have a copy of the seniority list of the original 377 Eastern pilots. The list covers May 1, 1929-September 1, 1942. Bransom's name is not on the list], and was very good friends with Eddie Rickenbacker [he may have also been friends with fellow Eastern and Register pilot Lee Willey]. " Regardless of the seniority list, the portrait, below, right, shows him in his Eastern uniform.






George W. Bransom, Eastern Airlines Pilot, 1930 (Source: Web)


And further, "As for the Ernie Pyle articles, I do know he wrote an article about my grandfather flying with the family Chow, Murphy, and another about him losing his pants while flying. I understand he was a real character, so I can only guess the things that may have been written about him.  George Werner Bransom went by the nickname "Pete".  I have seen many, many newspaper articles, and caricatures of him with Eddie Rickenbacker and Charles Lindbergh,  but unfortunately, have no idea what happened to them after his wife, my grandmother, died.  I may have some pictures of him.  I also stumbled across a website that is discussing the plane crash that killed him in the British Isles.  His brother was Henry Wilton Bransom, Commander of the Marines, and Richard K. Bransom, who was on the sub that was sunk during World War II and subsequently the crew was rescued.  On my ancestry.com page, is a picture of his headstone at Arlington National Cemetery. You may also be able to use some of the info from the family ancestry, as I do have a lot of his military records there.  Unfortunately, I do not know a lot about the planes he flew, but I'm sure the log book will be of some help there for you.  I would love it if we could build a biography of my grandfather, as he was killed when my mother was only nine years old, and I'm sure there is alot of information out there that I never knew. I would love to be able to show my children exactly who their great grandfather was, and my cousins would love to see it too! I will do some digging and see if I can find the log book,and whatever else I can to help you get started.  All of his children have passed, and there is only us grandchildren left to continue his legacy, stories, etc."

Washington Post, April 15, 1928 (Source: Marler)
Washington Post, April 15, 1928



From an RAF history blog dating from 2007, we find, "There are [sic] a number of family trees on Ancestry.com that contain George Werner Bransom. [He} died 14 Oct 1942. Born 8 Dec 1897. One of the trees show his grave from Arlington National cemetery, with inscription:
George Werner Bransom
Gy Sgt
US Marines Corps
December 8 1896
October 14 1942"


From the same blog, another posting cites a brief article in a 1930 aeronautical publication, "[headlined] Detroit Aircraft Appoints Sales Representative and NY Agent DETROIT, MICH. (Special).— George W. Bransom has been appointed pilot salesman in the New York district for Detroit Aircraft Corp., according to James Work, vice president."






Dossier 2.1.191


The Register

Thanks to Lauralee Schramm, pilot Bransom's granddaughter, for information on this page.

Thanks also to Helen Marler for some of the information.

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