The end of a 30-year hunt for dad

By Mark HeathWHEN half-brothers Jay Mohtram and Mick Brummitt travel thousands of miles to the USA, it will be the culmination of a dream more than 30 years in the making.

By Mark Heath

WHEN half-brothers Jay Mohtram and Mick Brummitt travel thousands of miles to the USA, it will be the culmination of a dream more than 30 years in the making.

Because, after decades of searching, Mr Brummitt will finally come face-to-face later this year with a family he never knew he had.

His father was a U.S. airman based at Debach Airbase during the Second World War who, just months after Mr Brummitt was born in 1944, was posted to France with the U.S. Army Engineering Aviation Battalion.


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Some 35 years ago, Mr Brummitt, who lives in Snape, began the long and arduous task of tracking down his father, of whom he has never even seen a picture.

But after years of trying, which even saw him hire a private detective, he reluctantly decided to give up the search.

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A huge fire at the Archive Center in St Louis had destroyed his father's military records, along with those of 18 million others.

However, Mr Mohtram decided to pick up where his half-brother left off and, using the Internet, finally made the breakthrough they had both been waiting for about two years later.

Although they discovered Mr Brummitt's father – Jimmie W Oliver – had died in 1967, an advert placed in a newspaper in tiny Camilla, Georgia, yielded the phone call they had dreamed of.

For Mr Brummitt, 61, has a brother, sister and extended family in the USA and the pair are now making preparations to fly out and meet them for the first time.

Mr Mohtram, 46, said: "While I was researching on the Internet I knew there was an answer there somewhere and I just never gave up.

"Every time I looked into it, I looked forward to the task because I knew eventually I would get there – then one day I got a big parcel from the U.S. Government with all the details in it. It was like winning the lottery."

While in America, the pair will visit Mr Brummitt's father's grave and drop in on his hometown in Georgia.

"We are very much looking forward to it," added Mr Mohtram. "It's all going to be new for Mick and it will be a very exciting experience for both of us.

"This is an opportunity for him to hopefully see some pictures of his father finally – it's like a whole new life for him."

Mr Mohtram had some advice for other war babies who may be searching for their parents, but getting nowhere.

"I would say just three little words – never give up. People's records are stored somewhere, no matter what," he said.

"There's always an answer there and you will find it eventually. Hopefully, people who read this will get some inspiration from our story."

mark.heath@eadt.co.uk

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