This collection consists of twenty-two snapshots taken by Phillip Jones, many of which include images of his friend Jesse Brown, as well as friends John Brannon, Sam Clauzel, and Rex Vannoy, during their Pensacola training. They are shown posing in front of a North American SNJ Texan. There are also a few shots of Pensacola training facilities as well as Sikorsky R-4s and other various training aircraft.
Biographical / Historical:
Jesse L. Brown (1926-1950) was the first African-American Navy pilot. Born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi to sharecroppers, Brown attended Ohio State University and enlisted in the US Naval Reserve on 8 July 1946. That following spring, he accepted an appointment as a midshipman in the US Navy. Brown attended the Navy preflight school in Ottumwa, Iowa, followed by flight training at Pensacola, where he was one of only six (out of 100) to complete the training. In 1948, Brown began a tour of duty with VF-32 at Quonset Point, RI, and was commissioned an ensign on April 15th of that year. In June 1950, VF-32 was operating from USS Leyte in the Mediterranean on a routine cruise when it was diverted to the Korean War. By October 1950, Brown was flying F4U-4 Corsair missions from USS Leyte. Brown became a section leader and received the Air Medal for daring attacks against the enemy before getting shot down by enemy fire and perishing in the wreckage of his aircraft. Brown was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and on March 18, 1972, the Navy christened the USS Jesse L. Brown (DE-1098) the first time that a Naval vessel had been named for an African-American.
Joan B. Jones, Gift, 2003
No restrictions on access.