Jessie LeRoy Brown

Black History Heroes | Jessie LeRoy Brown
Posted on 02/21/2021
Jessie LeRoy Brown

After learning about Black pilots as a child, Jessie LeRoy Brown was determined to become a pilot. Upon hearing that no Black pilots were serving in the US military, the young man wrote to President Roosevelt in protest. Despite pushback against his race, Brown was eventually admitted to the naval pilot training program due to excellent test scores. Brown became the first Black aviator in the US Navy and received a Distinguished Flying Cross for his service. Sadly, he also became the first Black naval officer killed in the Korean War when his plane was shot down by Chinese infantry fire.

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SDIRC would like to thank the Indian River County NAACP Branch #5151 for providing the content in today's 'Black History Heroes' biography.