RADM F. Taylor Brown 1925-2011
Brown, born in Ashland, Wis., got a chance right out of high school at Navy flight training during World War II when the Navy opened the training in 1943 to high school graduates instead of applicants with two years of college. He went on active duty and flew the F6F Hellcat in fighter training in 1945-46.
In 1948, Brown flew an FJ-1 at 489.53 mph to win the prestigious Bendix Trophy cross-country air race for the jet division category, for which he received a plaque with his name inaccurately listed as “F. E. Brown” instead of F.T. Brown. Brown went by F. Taylor Brown.
Brown served combat tours in the Vietnam War, flying 24 combat missions between August 1964 and December 1965. As commander of the Air Wing Nine, USS Ranger, Brown led the first coordinated Navy Air Force attacks against North Vietnam in 1965.
He flew more than 65 kinds of aircraft and established two national and world records in aviation. He was a recipient of two Distinguished Flying Crosses and two air medals. While assigned to the Naval Air Special Weapons Facility in 1954, he was a ground observer during tests of atomic bombs north of Las Vegas.He was commanding officer of the USS Inchon, a helicopter carrier, in 1971 before his promotion to rear admiral assigned to the National Military Command Center in the Pentagon. He later was a defense attache for the U.S. State Department in London