Jesse Leroy Brown

Korean War
Service #504477
RankEnsign U.S. Navy
Date of DeathDecember 4 1950
StatusMissing In Action
Courts of the Missing
Air Medal
Combat Action Ribbon (Navy)
Distinguished Flying Cross
Korean Service Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Purple Heart
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Republic of Korea War Service Medal
United Nations Service Medal
For his leadership and valor, Ensign Brown was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.
Ensign Brown was the first African-American aviator with the United States Navy. During the Korean war, he was the pilot of a F4U-4 Corsair fighter with Fighter Squadron 32 aboard the aircraft carrier USS LEYTE (CV-32). On December 4, 1950, he was a section leader of a flight supporting the withdrawal of the marines near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. His aircraft was shot down by enemy small arms fire. He managed a crash landing, but received mortal wounds during crash. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.