Having a disadvantage at every turn due to the color of your skin. Your very existence threatened on a regular basis as a result of bigotry and prejudice. Danger also lurking around the corner at any given moment for you and your family. Now imagine giving your life while fighting to protect that same country.
He’d face an endless uphill battle along his journey. Despite the trappings of systemic and overt racial prejudice, Brown graduated at the top of his class. He took every opportunity that he could get his hands on, building a wildly impressive resume by his early 20’s. He’d make waves on a national scale, becoming the first Black naval pilot in the nation’s history.
He went above and beyond his contemporaries to become the benchmark for all future naval aviators. By the mid 40’s, he’d go on to fight in the Korean war. It was here that his life was sadly cut short. Brown’s aircraft was shot down following efforts to protect American troops from the threat of nearly ten times as many adversaries.
Jesse Leroy Brown was a hero, and a pioneer. He was courage personified, and his legacy is still championed today. His impact spans generations, serving as an inspiration to many of the world’s foremost pilots.