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Jesse LeRoy Brown (13 October 1926 – 4 December 1950) was the first African-American naval aviator in the United States Navy.

Born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Brown enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1946 and was appointed a Midshipman, at the Ohio State University NROTC the following year. After attending Navy pre-flight school and flight training, he was designated a Naval Aviator in October 1948. Midshipman Brown was then assigned to Fighter Squadron 32. He received his commission as Ensign in April 1949.

During the Korean War, his squadron operated from USS Leyte (CV-32), flying F4U-4 Corsair fighters in support of United Nations forces. On 4 December 1950, while on a close air support mission near the Chosin Reservoir, Ensign Brown's plane was hit by enemy fire and crashed. Despite heroic efforts by other aviators, notably LT(jg) Thomas J. Hudner, Jr., he could not be rescued and died in his aircraft. Ensign Jesse L. Brown was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his Korean War combat service.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jesse L. Brown."
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