Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Leslie E. Brown
United States Marine Corps

First Marine to fly a jet in combat <> Korean War, Sept. 9, 1950.

Lieutenant General Leslie E. Brown (7 July 1920-12 September 1997) was a United States Marine Corps aviator who served in combat in World War II, Vietnam, and Korea. As a combat pilot, he earned many aviation "firsts". He retired from the Marine Corps in 1978 after 38 years of active duty service.


Leslie Brown was born on 7 July 1920 in Washington state. He graduated from high school in 1938 and attended Compton College in California prior to enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1940.

Brown received a field commission during World War II while serving as a member of the 2nd Marine Division in the Pacific.

He had extensive combat and command experience in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He participated in four major landings in the Pacific. In 1946, he completed flight training and qualified in most types of jets, transports and helicopters that the Marine Corps had in use. While in Korea in 1950, he was the first Marine to fly a jet in combat. In Vietnam, he was the First Wing Operations Officer (G-3), and then commanded a jet attack group (MAG-12) and the attempted attack on the DaNang Airfield at Chu Lai, earning many aviation "firsts".

In 1962, he attended Oklahoma State University where he earned both a Bachelor of Science and a and Bachelor of Arts degree, and also completed graduate studies in Human Resources Management.

He held numerous staff assignments including duty as Secretary to the General Staff and as a Joint Chiefs of Staff Project Officer at Headquarters Marine Corps; Logistics Operations Officer for the Fleet Marine Force, Pacific; Deputy J-3 (Operations) for the United States European Command; Chief of Staff, Headquarters Marine Corps; and his final assignment as Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific.

Brown retired from the Marine Corps on 1 October 1978. He died near Palm Springs, California on 12 September 1997.


"Wherever you are or whatever your job, don’t be confused or diverted by false priorities. We have only one mission to perform—that is to fight and win. And, we must do it better than anyone else in the world."

—LtGen Leslie E. Brown