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Jesse Leroy Brown

Date of birth: October 13, 1926
Date of death: December 4, 1950
Home of record: Hattiesburg Mississippi
Status: MIA

Jesse Brown was the Navy's FIRST BLACK AVIATOR. After he crashed on a Korean mountainside during the battle for the Chosin Reservoir, fellow pilot Tom Hudner crash-landed next to him in efforts to rescue his comrade, earning the Medal of Honor for his efforts. A U.S. Navy ship was subsequently named for Jesse Brown, the first U.S. Naval ship in history to be named for a Black American hero.


Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Korean War

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Ensign Jesse Leroy Brown (NSN: 0-504477), United States Navy, for heroism in aerial flight as Pilot of a fighter plane in Fighter Squadron THIRTY-TWO (VF-32), attached to the U.S.S. LEYTE (CV-32), in hostile attacks on hostile North Korean forces. Participating in 20 strikes on enemy military installations, lines of communication, transportation facilities, and enemy troop concentrations in the face of grave hazard, at the Chosin Reservoir, Takshon, Manp Jin, Linchong, Sinuiju, Kasan, Wonsan, Chonjin, Kilchu, and Sinanju during the period 12 October to 4 December 1950. With courageous efficiency and utter disregard for his own personal safety, Ensign Brown, while in support of friendly troops in the Chosin Reservoir area, pressed home numerous attacks destroying an enemy troop concentration moving to attack our troops. So aggressive were these attacks, in the face of enemy anti-aircraft fire, that they finally resulted in the destruction of Ensign Brown's plane by anti-aircraft fire. His gallant devotion to duty was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: October 12 - December 4, 1950

Service: Navy

Rank: Ensign

Company: Fighter Squadron 32 (VF-32)

Division: U.S.S. Leyte (CV-32)