War Buddy Heads to N. Korea to Find Fallen Pilot
Jesse Brown was the Navy's first black aviator
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2013 4:47 PM CDT
Ensign Jesse Brown, in 1950. He was killed in December of that year.   (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, File)

(Newser) – Ever heard of Ensign Jesse Brown? Probably not, and that's too bad, because "he's a Jackie Robinson in many ways," says his old war buddy Thomas Hudner. "He's a historic figure, yet he's lying on a Korean mountainside." The AP has the remarkable story: Brown became the Navy's first black pilot, only to be shot down over North Korea in 1950. Fellow pilot Hudner crash-landed his own plane to try to save his friend—and earned the Medal of Honor for his bravery—but it was no use. He had to escape in a chopper, and now, more than 60 years later, Hudner is going back for his friend.

The 88-year-old leaves for Pyongyang tomorrow as part of a special expedition to try to find Brown's remains. Not only is the North Korean government on board, it is sending along members of its army to assist the mission. Hudner hopes a successful search brings closure not only to himself but to Brown's widow. As he was losing consciousness, Brown managed to tell Hudner, "If I don't make it, please tell Daisy I love her." Click for the full story.

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