Notable People

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Rear Admiral Bret H. Brallier


Rear Admiral Bret Hart Brallier, U.S. Coast guard, was born at Ocean Park, Cal.  He completed grammar school and three years of high school in Tonopah, Nevada, graduating from San Jose, Cal., High School in 1924.  He entered the Coast Guard Academy as a cadet in September 1926.

Graduated and commissioned Ensign on 15 May 1929, he subsequently was promoted in rank as follows: Lieutenant (jg), 15 May 1932; Lieutenant, 15 May 1933; Lieutenant Commander, 1 January 1942; Commander, 1 October 1942; and Captain, 6 December 1950; retired with rank of Rear Admiral 1 Sept. 1959.

His first assignment was aboard the Cutter Tahoe at Oakland, Cal., and during his tour the ship attained the highest gunnery score made by a Coast Guard vessel to that date (1931) and, as gunnery officer, he received a commendation from the Commandant.  Transferred in October 1931 to the Cutter Tallapoosa, Juneau, Alaska, he was commended in 1933 for twice landing on Chirikof Island through the surf to remove six persons, one of whom was injured, from the island.  A radio play based on this rescue was enacted over a national network in 1934.

In July 1933 he was ordered to the Cutter Saranac at Galveston, Texas, and after seven months, took flight training for a time at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla.  He next was stationed aboard the Cutter Champlain at Staten Island, N.Y., from October 1934 to April 1936, and then was assigned to the Cutter Icarus as executive officer.  He assumed command of that vessel in January 1937.

Transferred to the 5th District, Norfolk, Va., he served as communications officer from March 1937 to March 1941.  During this period the communication force was successful in establishing the district as the first in the Coast Guard to complete the landline system engineering and installation of voice repeaters so that all shore units in the district could satisfactorily converse with one another and with the district office.  Also, the first radiotelephone traffic station in the Coast Guard was established in the district during that period.

RADM Brallier's next assignment was a commanding officer of the Cutter Redwing at Port Angeles, Wash.  From June through August 1941, this vessel accomplished one of the longest towing jobs on record in the Coast Guard when it brought the Indian Service Vessel Boxer, disabled and icebound during the winter of 1940-41, from Kuskokwin Bay to Unalaska, then to Seattle, and finally to New York, N.Y., via the Panama Canal.  In August 1941, Captain Brallier was designated executive officer of the Maritime Training Ship Empire State, based first at Staten Island, N.Y., and then at St. Petersburg, Fla.  He assumed command of the vessel in June 1942.

Three months later he became executive officer of the Cutter Campbell, assigned to escort duty in the North Atlantic.  In February 1943, when closing in to ram a surfaced submarine, the Campbell was damaged by a second submarine diving to effect escape.  For participation in this engagement and salvage operations following, then CDR Brallier received the Silver Star.

In August 1943, he assumed command of the Hurst (DE-250), the first destroyer to be manned by the Coast Guard, and was assigned to anti-submarine patrol and as escort commander in the Caribbean area.  He reported to Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C., in December 1943 as Chief, Operations Section, Communications Division.  Two years later he was transferred to the 9th Coast Guard District, Cleveland, Ohio, as aids to navigation officer, remaining in that capacity until 1947, when he assumed command of the Cutter Gresham.

Detached in 1949, RADM Brallier was assigned to the Naval War college at Newport, R.I.  Upon completion of the course in June 1950, he was ordered to Headquarters to serve for three years as Chief, Enlisted Personnel Division.  He reported for duty as Chief of Plans and Readiness on the staff of the Commander, Western Area, San Francisco, Cal., in June 1953.

In July 1956, he was transferred to the 5th Coast Guard District, Norfolk, Va., where he first served as Chief of Operations until April 1957, and then as Chief of Staff of the 5th District.

In October 1958, he became Chief of Staff of the 8th Coast Guard District, New Orleans, La., where he remained until he retired with 30 years of service and with the rank of Rear Admiral on September 1, 1959.

Married in 1931 to the former Violet C. Everly, RADM Brallier has one son, Peter John.

RADM Brallier is a 32 degree member of the Masonic Order (Scottish Rite).

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