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 George Scratchley Brown

George Scratchley Brown

Birth
Montclair, Essex County, New Jersey, USA
Death 5 Dec 1978 (aged 60)
Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 21, Lot S-34 Grid N-20.5
Memorial ID 2463 · View Source
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Unites States Air Force General. He was a native of Montclair, NewJersey, and attended the University of Missouri before entering the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, graduating in the class of 1941. Commissioned in the Army Air Corps, throughout World War II he was a pilot in the 93rd Bombardment Group attached to the Eighth Air Force. He took part in the famed low-level bombing raid against an oil refinery at Ploesti, Rumania, on August 1, 1943; a raid that called for a surprise attack by 177 B-24 bombers. They were to evade German radar by flying all 1,200 miles, from their base at Bengasi, Libya, to the oil refinery, at treetop level. However, a navigational error took them directly over Bucharest, Romania, the headquarters of the German Air Defense Command. The lead plane and ten others in his group were shot down or crashed at Ploesti. He fearlessly took the lead, guiding the remaining planes back to their home base. For his courageous action under fire, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest medal awarded by the United States Army. After the war he returned to the United States to accept various assignments, including command of the 56th Fighter Wing stationed at Selfridge Air Force Base, Michigan. During the Korean War, he was Chief of Operations of the Fifth Air Force. He later graduated from the National War College and was appointed Chief Executive Officer to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. In 1959 he was promoted to Brigadier General, serving as military assistant to the Secretary of Defense. By August 1966 he had become a Major General assigned to assist the Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff, General Earle G. Wheeler. His toughest assignment came in August of 1968 when he was promoted to General and named commander of the Seventh Air Force based in Saigon, Vietnam. In this post, he was responsible for air operations for the entire Southeast Asia region. In July 1973 President Richard Nixon nominated him to be Chief of Staff of the Air Force. During his confirmation hearings it was learned that he had overseen secret bombings raids into Cambodia while in charge of the air war in Vietnam. He maintained he was simply following orders from the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff and that no one with a "need to know" had been deceived. In spite of the controversy, he was confirmed and in July of the following year he was named Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He retained this chairmanship under President Gerald Ford, but not without further controversy. His outspoken personal views clashed with administration policy on several occasions, causing the administration political embarrassment. Nevertheless, he retained his position until ill health forced his retirement from the Air Force in June 1978. He died of cancer later that year. His other medals included the Silver Star, Legion of Merit and Distinguished Flying Cross.

Bio by: Ugaalltheway


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2463
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for George Scratchley Brown (17 Aug 1918–5 Dec 1978), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2463, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .