Henry William Brown

Brown, Henry William Brown (Junior, Baby)
Born 25 January, 1923 - Dallas, Texas.


Joined USA Reserves December 1941, graduated from Flight School at Spence Field, GA as a Flight Officer in March 1943. Joined the 354FS/355th FG at Steeple Morden, England in November, 1943 and promoted to Lieutenant in January, 1944.

On March 8, 1944 following a Berlin mission escort, Brown destroyed three Ju 88’s and a shared Me 110 t Hosepe Airfield to become the first 8th AF fighter pilot to destroy more than 3 in one day. Charlie Sweat was the first 355FG pilot to die strafing German airfields on the same day.

He became the Group’s 5th ace on 24, April, 1944 and led the 355th in total air/ground scores on May 13 at the start of the 8thAF campaign against German oil industry.

When Brown returned from stateside leave in late August he was promoted to Captain in September and went on a 30 day rampage, destroying 8 on the ground and 7 in the air to become the 8th AF (active) leading top scorer. He was the first 8th AF pilot to destroy 6 on the ground, during September.

On October 3, 1944 Brown was finally stopped by German flak at Nordlingen A/D. Major Charles Lenfest attempted the 354FS’ second Piggy Back rescue of Captain Brown but got stuck in the mud - leaving two of the 354FS/355FG aces in German hands as POW. Lenfest successfully escaped in April, 1945.

Brown remained 355FG top ace, top scorer and was acclaimed to have best eyes in the group. He was the second most decorated pilot in the 355th FG - second only to Colonel Claiborne Kinnard, Jr.

Following WWII, Brown stayed in AF, obtained degree at University of Omaha in 1960, was head of F-111 program at Nellis AFB, then commanded 48th TFW of F-111’s before retiring as Colonel in 1974.

Final Score - 14.2 destroyed and 3 damaged in the air, 14.5 destroyed and 10 damaged on the ground

Awards: DSC, SS, DFC (5), AM (19), PH, Croix de Guerre, Distinguished Unit Citation.
Aircraft assigned; P-47D-2RE 42-74703 WR-Z ‘Baby’ ; P-51B-10 42-106448 WR-Z ‘Hun Hunter~Texas’; P-51D-5 44-13305 WR-Z ‘Hun Hunter’

Written by Bill Marshall,
author "Angels, Bulldogs and Dragons - History of the 355FG in WWII"

Contributed by Bill Marshall, October, 2006. Unverified.

The text is copyright Bill Marshall 2006. All Rights Reserved. You may not copy or reproduce this biography without the express written consent of Bill Marshall.

List of all p51 Pilots:
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
Asa A. Adair He returned to the States in August of 1944 after participating in the invasion "D" Day. He flew P-63's, P-51's, F-80's, T-33's, F-84's, T-38's, P-47's in numerous assignments during the following twenty years in in, Japan, U.S.A. and Europe before retiring after twenty-six years of Active Duty.
John C. Anderson After P-47 transition he was assigned to the 406th Fighter Group, 512th Fighter Squadron. (E.T .0.) He flew 56 missions through January, 1945 destroying supply routes, bridges, and railroads; he also flew close support missions with the ground forces, with attacks on tanks, artillery and enemy positions.
W.B. 'Tex' Badger Eight and Ninth Air Force in WWII. B-l7's, P-51's and P-47's. Fifth Air Force in Korea, F80's and F86's. WWII and Korea, Flew 156 missions. Tactical units served in with the USAAF and USAF were: 305th BG , 368th Fighter Group, 4th Fighter Group, 49th Fighter Group, 12th Fighter Wing, 506th Fighter Wing.
Robert T. (Bob) Bagby He trained in P47's at Cross City and Dale Mabry Fields, Florida and then joined the 341st FS Black Jack Squadron), 348th FG of the 5th AF in Brisbane, Australia in June 1943. Bob flew 78 combat missions in New Guinea (Port Moresby, Finchafen, Sador, Wakde and Biak) primarily as wingman to squadron CO's John Campbell and John Moore. Also privileged to fly wing to Neil Kirby on several occasions.
Frank Baker After brief stops at Stone and Atcham, England he joined the 313th Fighter Squadron of the 50th Fighter Group in France. He flew 90 missions through V.E. Day. Most of the missions were close support attacks on various ground targets with a few B-26 escort missions thrown in. All of the missions took place in eastern France and southern Germany. He was awarded the Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters.
John M. Balason To relieve the boredom, Balason went down on the deck and blew up a locomotive he had observed at altitude. A few seconds after making his strafing pass he received a hit in his left wing tank and a fire started immediately in the cockpit. The paralyzing effect of the intense heat made climbing out of the cockpit impossible.
Albert W. Barlow, Jr. He flew 69 escort and ground support missions. Destroyed one E/A (ME-I09). Was shot down on Sept. 8, 1944, and evaded enemy ground forces for 8 days. Was picked up by an American Recon. Unit behind the German lines. Was hospitalized until Feb. 1948, when he was medically retired with the rank of Capt. Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and Purple Heart.
William T. Beckler In July, 1944 Beckler exchanged his P-40 for a P-47N Thunderbolt. Missions in the Jug covered Northern Italy and Southern France. These included escorting medium bombers. The Bombers, based in Southern Italy, would be escorted to France by Thunderbolts based on Corsica. Shortly before target the Jugs would pull ahead of the bombers and bomb the enemy gun positions. Beckler's activities while participation in three major campaigns earned him the DFC, two Air Medals and two Presidential citations.
Herbert R. Benson After training in P-47 Thunderbolts at bases in North Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware, he was assigned to the European Theatre of operations and joined the 48th Fighter Group 493rd Fighter Squadron at St. Trond, Belgium. After flying 44 combat missions, he was awarded the Air Medal with 4 Oak Leaf clusters.
Marvin C. Bigelow Training in the Southeast Training Command with the class of 44C, he graduated and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant single engine pilot at Marianna, Florida with the class of 44D. After checking out in the P-40 at Marianna, he transitioned in the P-47 in the Northeast Defense Command and after gunnery at Dover, Delaware was shipped on the Queen Mary to England.
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