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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Showing 3 of 10 comments
specialk
Jul 21, 2013 11:48 PM CDT
"Reallybig" sounds like an arm-chair general who never heard a shot fired in anger. Nothing like time & distance to allow a spineless cynic to comment.
reallybig
Jul 20, 2013 9:27 AM CDT
TRUTH BE TOLD ...... I have trouble believing all these war "HERO" stories, and (question) them. -------- WHAT REALLY HAPPENED? ------- This time ground fire struck Brown's plane (forcing him to land behind enemy lines). <--- --------------------------------------------------------- When Brown waved his hand for help from his crumpled smoking cockpit, (after slamming into the mountainside) <--- Hudner acted quickly. ---------------------------------------------------------- .........Hudner (crash-landed his plane)......... <---- .about (100 yards, from the downed fighter). <---- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PS; .. Either (Brown landed his plane behind enemy lines).. OR .. (Brown slammed his plane into a mountainside). And Hudner landed his plane 100 yards from Brown's plane .. (that had "landed" behind enemy lines), or Hudner landed (on the side of a mountain) 100 yards from Brown's plane .. (that slammed, into a mountainside). QUESTION? .. Did Hudner land 100 yards from Brown's plane .. on flat ground .. or on the side, of a mountainside? It's another believe it or not story.. with the rescue helicopter pilot, arriving to late to see it.......................... REALLY
plain_speaking
Jul 19, 2013 7:17 PM CDT
Thank you for your service Ensign Jessie Brown...I will remember your name and your sacrifice.