Harry G. Brannon

Sergeant, U.S. Army


C Company
4th Battalion
9th Infantry Infantry Regiment
25th Infantry Division

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: March 2, 1969
Buried at: Section U Row I Site 12.0
                 Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery 
                 Bear, Delaware 
Awards: Purple Heart, Bronze Star

SERGEANT HARRY GERALD "JERRY"" BRANNON was born on May 9, 1936, to Harry Woolman and his wife, the former Pauline Boulden. His father had found work in Hollywood as a stuntman and occasional actor prior to his sons birth. His mother chose not to move to California, and moved to Gloucester City with her parents. She remarried after World War II. Her second husband, Harry Brannon, adopted her son. 

Harry Brannon was well known in New York and elsewhere as a singer both on radio and in nightclubs, and was also known for his striking resemblance in both appearance and voice to Bing Crosby. He was was the first person to sing "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" commercially on New York City radio in November of 1949. His uptempo version probably was a factor in pushing Gene Autry's original recording to Number 1 on the Billboard charts in 1950, and prompting Crosby and other artists, including Spike Jones, to cover it. Both the Crosby and Jones versions made the Billboard Top 10 in 1950. 

After leaving the New York music scene in 1954, Harry Brannon managed, performed at, and lived above Gloucester City nightclub, Lew Palma's House of Fun on Powell Street with his wife and family. 

Harry G. "Jerry" Brannon graduated from high school in 1954. He enlisted in the United States Army in June 1958, and was stationed at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, prior to being sent to Vietnam. In Vietnam he was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division.

Serving with the 9th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, Sergeant Brannon was mortally wounded by small arms fire while involved in counter-insurgency operations against the Viet Cong. He died as a result of his wounds on August 15, 1966, 

Funeral services were held at the Etherington Funeral Home, Gloucester City, NJ. He was buried at the Delaware Veterans Cemetery in Bear, Delaware.

Sergeant Brannon was survived by his wife, Ernestine, two sons, Herbert and Jeffrey, and two daughters, Kimberly and Melissa. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star in a ceremony at Fort Dix, NJ.

IN 2010 his son, J.J. Brannon, wrote extensively about his father. His writings can be accessed at this link. Please contact me if the link fails, as I have saved the page it points to in its entirety.

is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
on Panel 10E, Row 6.



Jun 12, 2008
Kata Henry
Tularosa, New Mexico

I wish I could have met you Uncle Harry, I have heard great stories about you from my mom (your little sister) you were her hero. She had a dream about your death the night you died. It was almost as if you came to comfort her before she knew you were gone. I wish I could have met you. You died for your country and I'm proud of you. I just wish you were here for me to meet.

love, Kata

p.s. If anyone has pictures or stories please e-mail me. it will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

March 13, 2002
Sandra Morales
Friend from Alaska (Fort Wainwright)
Spanaway, Washington

Passing of a Friend
Gerry as I knew him was a great guy who always had a smile on his face. Him and my husband were station together in Alaska then off to Hawaii then together in Viet Nam. From what I have been told he was with my husband Sgt. Leslie I. Morales when he was hurt while on a mission later died of his wounds. When I visit the traveling wall I always say a pray by your name- and will do so when I see the wall in DC in April. I have lost contact with his wife through the years and would love to make contact once again. Her name was Earnestine Sandra Brannon-O'Brien liked to me called Sandy. You and all the others are missed each and everyday bye your love ones and friends. God Bless until we meet again. 

Sandy Morales

May 27, 2002
Lee Bradbury

We share nothing except we both were born on the 9th May, in my case 1967. I will always remember the sacrifice you made for your country. God Bless You, Harry. "They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn At the going down of the sun and in the morning WE WILL REMEMBER THEM"