Navigator, Lieutenant Vincent Brossard
Frederick Vincent Brossard was born on the 31st of March, 1916, in Logan, Utah. He lived in Logan, Salt Lake City, Idaho, until 1925 when his family moved to Washington D.C. On the 20th of December, 1941, he married Lucy Irene Williams of Arizona. She remarried in December 1950, and now lives in Duchesne, Utah. He had a sister, Adele Brossard Hernandez and she has been traced as have two brothers, Boyd and Candler.
His father, Frederick, died in 1960, and his mother, Thérèse, lived until 1971
In the course of this research a first cousin, Mrs. Helen Brossard Sieb, was contacted as was another cousin, Melba P. Jensen. He also had an uncle who worked in the Services - Commissioner Edgar Brossard.
From another cousin of Frederick Vincent Brossard - Stratford Brossard (brother of Helen Sieb) we have gained a most interesting insight into Vincent as an individual, as seen by one of his best friends. Stratford first met Vincent in 1930, when Vincent was fourteen years of age.
Vincent comes across to us as an original thinker, who had tried to work out who and what God really is. In college he asked questions in an effort to establish the truth. He was a lover of nature, and loved to see the hand of God in all things, and he emerges as one who made few enemies, and had a strong love of mankind.
We have also contacted a further cousin - Louis Brossard - who has described Vincent and his wife Lucy to us as being very fine people.
Vincent enlisted in the United States Army Corps Reserves on July 27th. 1942, and on February 8th. 1943 he was called to active duty, and was commissioned a 2nd. Lieutenant in the United States Army Air Force on October 9th. 1943. He was colour-blind and could not distinguish green from blue. Because of this he could not become an Air Force pilot, and so qualified as a navigator, in Coral Gables, Miami, Florida. This top-ranked navigation school was run by Pan American Airways for the American Air Force. He graduated from here on the 9th of October, 1943.
From Coral Gables Vincent went to Pope Field, Fort Bragg, in North Carolina for a period of two to three weeks. This base was operated by Troop Transport Command, and the dropping of paratroops off planes at low altitudes, was practiced in preparation for 'D' Day.
Finally Vincent went to Baer Field, Fort Wayne in Indiana, the base for the 437th Squadrons. Here he first met his crew about ten days before departure to Europe. He may have arrived here on about the 16th of November, 1943. At the base he joined his C-47 (43/30719) and the other four crew members, and departed for French Morocco on the 26th of November. His mother received a letter from him which he had posted at a refueling stop during the flight. In this letter he spoke of flying at an altitude of 10,000 '. . . . over the white rolling carpet of clouds that rises from the Ocean".
Brossard's family were notified on the 20th of December, that he was missing. A Memorial Service was held for him on the 7th of February, 1944, in the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, Sixteenth St., Columbia Road, Washington D.C. Local newspapers in Washington carried the notice of his death on the 19th of February, 1944.