Guard William R. Brannon

Guard William R. Brannon

Florida State Road Department - State Convict Road Force, Florida

End of Watch Friday, August 20, 1948

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William R. Brannon

Guard William R. Brannon was shot and killed by a 20-year-old inmate during an escape at the Noma Road Prison. The suspect managed to overpower another guard and take his shotgun as he and five more inmates ran to and drove away in a prison road truck. The suspect shot Guard Brannon in the abdomen as he attempted to stop the escape. Guard Brannon managed to return fire wounding one of the inmates. Within 24 hours five were captured. The sixth inmate was captured a few days later.

Guard Brannon's killer, serving three years for breaking and entering, was shot twice and seriously wounded when he opened fire on officers who surrounded him in a cane field. He was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to life. On May 17, 1951, he escaped from a prison work crew. On December 23, 1951, a Florida ex-convict was arrested in Bainbridge, Georgia, after he and another man were caught in the act of trying to crack a safe inside a tire store they had broken into. The other man who escaped was Guard Brannon's killer. An investigation revealed they were responsible for several safe crackings in several North Florida cities. He was captured in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1953. On April 18, 1953, he escaped from a prison work farm but was captured the next day. On October 24, 1953, he made his 4th escape from a prison work crew. On December 24, 1953, he was captured in New Orleans. He was paroled in 1957; violated his parole a few days later and was returned to prison. He was paroled again in 1960. In 1972 he requested to be released from parole supervision, that was denied. Members of the Florida legislature questioned why he was out of prison in the first place, since he had violated his parole several times since his release in 1960.


  • Age 56
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Paroled in 1957

Most Recent Reflection

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On today, the 75th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of Florida. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy. There is no tougher job in Law Enforcement than that of a Corrections Officer.


United States Border Patrol

August 20, 2023

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