Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame
Gerald Brown was born in Globe, Arizona. A veteran of two wars, he received his U.S. Army Air Force commission in 1943 and went to England with the 55th Fighter Group. Flying P-38s, he became an ace by shooting down five enemy planes and damaging another. In 1944 he bailed out of a burning P-51, evaded German capture and was picked up by the World War II French Underground. Returning to the U.S., he held several key stateside posts before entering combat in Korea.
In November 1950 he was shot down by ground fire and held prisoner until September 1953. Later he served in France with a reconnaissance wing as operations director. Then he was sent to Washington, D.C., for a three-year tour with the Federal Aviation Administration. At the time of his retirement in 1967 he was wing commander at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. During a distinguished Air Force career, Colonel Brown earned numerous decorations for valor, including the Distinguished Flying Cross with four clusters, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, French Croix de Guerre and others. A former president of American Fighter Aces, he now chairs its museum foundation.