Brantley-Haynes Memorial, Toombs County

This monument was placed memory of Bennie, Gladys, Faye & Samuel Brantley, and Franklin Haynes, who lost their lives in a boating accident at Gray’s Landing on 12 July 1956. Belinda Brantley writes: My husband had this placed, I think in the 90s. He said that he couldn’t give his Daddy (Bennie) and his sister (Gladys) anything else. My husband was in the boat also, but a bystander jumped in to save him. His mother could never find out who it was, but my husband met the man at Cornerstone Baptist one night, thanks to Roy Mimbs. He was on leave at the time of the accident, and went back to the Navy a day or two later. Like Frankie said it was a day no one that was there could ever forget.

Frankie Haynes Astrauckus recalls: I was in the accident that day at Gray’s Landing. I’ve never been back. Today online, I saw the Memorial placed there in memory of my father, Frank Haynes, Uncle Benny Brantley, cousins, Gladys, Faye and Skeets (Samuel). It’s touching and it is beautiful. Thank you to all the people who came along side our family the days following… Thank you for placing that Memorial to remind us of many things… as a community we lost family, friends and neighbors. Life changed for many of us that afternoon. The loss was profound and they are still missed by those of us who knew them. Some of them were heroes amidst the calamity. I know, I experienced what it means, “greater love has no man than this, that he that would lay down his life for his friends’. That morning as we were on the way to Gray’s Landing, Gladys, Faye and I were singing an old song, “How Far is Heaven”. (I think it was popular in the 50s). They found out- that same day!

7 thoughts on “Brantley-Haynes Memorial, Toombs County

  1. Russ McGee

    Ms. Brantley and Mr. Astrauckas,

    Thank you all for this information. Can I leave you an email address or phone number so I can find out more details about the actual cause of the accident?

    Reply
  2. BELINDA BRANTLEY

    MY HUSBAND HAD THIS PUT DOWN ,I THINK IN THE 90’S. HE SAID THAT HE COULDN’T GIVE HIS DADDY(BENNIE) AND HIS SISTER(GLADYS) ANYTHING ELSE. MY HUSBAND WAS IN THE BOAT ALSO, BUT A BYSTANDER JUMP IN TO SAVE HIM. HIS MOTHER COULD NEVER FIND OUT WHO IT WAS, BUT MY HUSBAND MET THE MAN AT CORNERSTONE BAPTIST ONE NIGHT, THANKS TO ROY MIMBS. HE WAS ON LEAVE AT THE TIME OF ACCIDENT,AND WENT BACK TO THE NAVY A DAY OR TWO LATER. LIKE FRANKIE SAID IT WAS A DAY NO ONE THAT WAS THERE COULD EVER FORGET.

    Reply
    1. Brian Brown Post author

      Thanks for sharing, Belinda. They are as important to this story as the facts reported in newspapers and show how people hold their memories close even with the passage of time.

      Reply
    2. Russ McGee

      Ms. Brantley,

      We have been searching for the details of this tragic accident and did not know where to turn for the information regarding it. Can you possibly give me more information?

      Reply
  3. Frankie Astrauckas

    I was in the accident that day at Gray’s Landing. I’ve never been back. Today online, I saw the Memorial placed there in memory of my father, Frank Haynes, Uncle Benny Brantley, cousins, Gladys, Faye and Skeets (Samuel). It’s touching and it is beautiful. Thank you to all the people who came along side our family the days following… Thank you for placing that Memorial to remind us of many things… as a community we lost, family, friends and neighbors. Life changed for many of us that afternoon. The loss was profound and they are still missed by those of us who knew them. Some of them were heroes amidst the calamity. I know, I experienced what it means, “greater love has no man than this, that he that would lay down his life for his friends’.
    The morning as we were on the way to Gray’s Landing, Gladys, Faye and I were singing an old song, “How far is Heaven”. (I think it was popular in the 50s). They found out- that same day!
    Sincerely. Franki Haynes Astrauckas

    Reply

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