The First Black Naval Fighter Pilot... Jesse Leroy Brown

5fish

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Here is the first black fighter pilot in the Navy... there is a sad twist...


Ensign Jesse Leroy Brown was born in Hattiesburg, Miss., into a sharecropper family. He was a student athlete who excelled at math and had dreamed of being a pilot. Brown joined the Navy Reserve to help pay for college. On Oct. 21 1948, Brown became the first African American Naval aviator.
Brown flew a Vought F4U-4 Corsair and was assigned to fighter squadron VF-32 aboard USS Wright (CVL-49). His squadron transferred to USS Leyte (CV-32) in Oct. 1950, as part of Fast Carrier Task Force 77 on its way to Korea to assist U.N. forces.

https://www.history.navy.mil/browse-by-topic/people/trailblazers/jesse-brown.html#:~:text=He received orders to Selective,to complete Navy flight training.

He received orders to Selective Flight Training in Glenview, Illinois, in March 1947, followed by additional training at Naval Air Station Ottumwa and Naval Air Station Pensacola. On 21 October 1948, at the age of 22, Brown became the first African American man to complete Navy flight training. A public information officer released a photograph and story the next day with the headline, “First Negro Naval Aviator.” The story was picked up by the Associated Press and Brown's picture appeared in Life magazine.


Born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to an impoverished family, Brown was avidly interested in aircraft from a young age. He graduated as salutatorian of his high school, notwithstanding its racial segregation, and was later awarded a degree from Ohio State University. Brown enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1946, becoming a midshipman. Brown earned his pilot wings on 21 October 1948 amid a flurry of press coverage; in January 1949 he was assigned to Fighter Squadron 32 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Leyte.
 

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Here is the Navy's first Black female fighter pilot... 2020...


Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle recently completed the service's Tactical Air (Strike) training program in the T-45C Goshawk, the Navy announced Friday.

The milestone makes Swegle, a Naval Academy graduate, the first known Black woman who has been certified for the TACAIR mission, and she could go on to fly fighters such as the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler or F-35C Joint Strike Fighter.
 
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