July 26, 1944 Revisited in 2009 by Bill Brainard
Remembering Bill Brainard, Sr., AIA
West Palm Beach architect and past president of AIA Palm Beach Bill Brainard, AIA, has passed away at age 94. Bill entered the University of Florida in 1941 to study architecture. His education was interrupted by the onset of World War II with Bill joining the U.S. Army Air Corp. He served as a radio operator - gunner in B-17 bombers with the 15th AAF, 301st Bomber Group, 32nd Bomber Squadron, in Foggia, Italy. His aircraft was shot down over Austria on his 22nd mission resulting in Bill becoming a POW for the balance of the war. He was one of the 9000 plus prisoners of Stalag Luft IV until they were liberated at the end of the war. Bill returned to UF and graduated with his degree in architecture in 1951. He served the West Palm Beach community in an exemplary manner throughout his long career serving as Palm Beach County School Board Architect for a number of years as well operating a private architecture practice. He was predeceased by his son William W. Brainard, Jr, who passed in 2015. He is survived by his wife Rainey, of 64 years and his daughter Jamie as well as two grandchildren, many friends and respected colleagues. A beautiful service was conducted in his memory on August 22, 2016, by his long time friend and fellow architect Howarth L. “Hap” Lewis, Jr., FAIA (also a past president of AIA Palm Beach).