One of our heroes during the Korean War was Navy aviator, Ensign Jesse Brown.
Growing up an African-American in 1940s Mississippi, Brown had to overcome long odds and the evils of racism to become a naval aviator. Yet, he succeeded, and in 1950, was assigned to 32nd Fighter Squadron flying F4U-4 Corsairs in the skies of North Korea. He won air combat medals for leading his aircraft section as they swooped down, strafing every enemy position they could find in support of the Soldiers and Marines on the ground.
During one of these strafings, Brown’s plane was hit. He crash landed on a snowy mountain with his plane breaking apart on impact. When he opened the hatch to wave to his fellow pilots, they realized he must be either pinned in the wreckage or too injured to get out.
They strafed the enemy to keep them away from him while waiting for a rescue helicopter to arrive. Then, his wing man and friend, Lt. Hudner, crash landed his own Corsair nearby to try to get Brown out of the plane and to put out the flames from the burning fuel. Hudner knew that it was 30 degrees below zero on the mountain and that Brown could not survive long.
About an hour after the wreck, the Marine rescue chopper finally arrived and worked long and hard to free the barely conscious Brown, but his legs were pinned in the plane wreckage.
As sunset approached, the Marine rescue team knew that Brown would not survive and they would not be able to free him. Because their helicopter was not equipped to fly at night, they were forced to leave.
Before Brown died in service of our freedom, the last thing he said to his friend, Hudner, was to tell his wife, Daisy, that he loved her.
As a Christian, I believe that all men and women are made in God’s image and are created equal; honor knows no color.
Let us join Brown, and his friend, Hudson, in our fight for freedom.