Retired May 1, 1971. Died May 3, 1974.
Brig. Gen. Earl William "Pat" Brannon Jr., is commander of David Grant U.S. Air Force Medical Center, Travis Air Force Base, Calif.
General Brannon was born in 1920 in Coblenz, Germany, where his parents were stationed with the Allied Occupation Forces after World War I. He graduated from Lash High School, Zanesville, Ohio, in 1938, and entered Denison University, Granville, Ohio, from which he graduated in 1942 with a bachelor of arts degree (chemistry and zoology). He received his doctor of medicine degree from Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, in 1945.
He held a reserve commission as a second lieutenant in the Army Medical Administrative Corps from June 1942 until May 1943, when he resigned the commission to accept enlisted status in the Army Specialized Training Program as a medical student. In June 1945 he was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Army of the United States, and after completing medical internship at Saint Luke's Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio, entered on active duty in April 1946. He has been on continuous active duty since.
General Brannon had various assignments in the U.S. Army including service as surgeon of the 504th Parachute Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division. In January 1948 he was assigned to Walter Reed General Hospital, Washington, D.C., for residency training in orthopedic surgery during which period he also acted as chief of the Amputation Service and assistant chief of the Orthopedic Surgery Service. He completed his training as chief resident in orthopedic surgery at the District of Columbia General Hospital from July 1950 to July 1951.
From 1951 to 1955, General Brannon served as chief of orthopedic surgery at the U.S. Air Force Hospital, Wiesbaden, Germany, and assisted in development of the military consultant program in Europe and Africa. He also was area consultant in orthopedic surgery. During this tour, he had postgraduate training in traumatic surgery at universities in Mainz, Germany, and Vienna, Austria.
During the period 1955 to 1964, General Brannon was assigned to Wilford Hall U.S. Air Force Hospital, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, where he developed and directed the teaching program in orthopedic surgery and also held posts as Director of Professional Services and deputy commander. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his work at Lackland. He also served on the Primary Medical Support Team for projects Mercury and Gemini and participated in nearly all the manned space flights as a flight surgeon and surgical consultant at Cape Kennedy, Fla.
General Brannon was commander of the U.S. Air Force Hospital, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., from July 1964 to June 1966, where he was responsible for expansion of the hospital facility and formulation of plans for five clinical residency programs for which he received the first oak leaf cluster to the Legion of Merit.
From July 1966 to July 1967, General Brannon was in the Republic of Vietnam as Seventh Air Force surgeon. He was responsible for more than a two-fold expansion of medical facilities and services in support of the U.S. Air Force mission. He instigated an improved system of aeromedical evacuation of battle casualties and stimulated the "care of the flyer" program in Southeast Asia. Under his direction, a number of projects were instituted to evaluate and improve personal equipment, protective armor, and survival gear for combat aircrews. He also made contributions to the Vietnamese civilian health and welfare program and assisted the U.S. Agency for International Development public health teams.
General Brannon was assigned as commander, David Grant U.S. Air Force Medical Center, Travis Air Force Base, Calif., in July 1967.
For his services in Vietnam, General Brannon was awarded the second oak leaf cluster to the Legion of Merit; Bronze Star Medal; Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters; Vietnamese Air Force Distinguished Service Order, Second Class; Vietnamese Armed Forces Honor Medal, First Class; Republic of Vietnam Medal of Grand Merit, First Class; and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. He flew on more 100 combat missions and received the Purple Heart for wounds received in action. He also was awarded the Vietnamese Special Forces Parachutist Badge, and wears the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon with two oak leaf clusters.
General Brannon is an active member of 16 professional societies, including the American College of Surgeons, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, Latin American Society of Orthopedics and Traumatology, American Medical Asaaciation, Aerospace Medical Association and Society of Military Orthopedic Surgeons. He was awarded an "A" suffix to his Air Force specialty code in orthopedic surgery, signifying national and international prominence in this specialty. He has been an examiner on the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery for many years and has published more than 30 articles on medical subjects. He was awarded the Honor of Merit for services to the Guatemalan air force and a citation from the 12th National Congress of Physicians and Surgeons of Guatemala in 1961. A rated flight surgeon and parachutist, he also is a specialist in orthopedic surgery and military orthopedic consultant to the surgeon general.
General Brannon attended the Army Medical Field Service School, Army Airborne School, School of Aviation Medicine, Space Systems Orientation Course and Manned Space Flight Orientation Course.
He was promoted to the grade of brigadier general Nov. 1, 1967, with date of rank of Oct. 19, 1967.