George Scratchley Brown: Wikis


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George Scratchley Brown
August 17, 1918(1918-08-17) – December 5, 1978 (aged 60)
GEN George Brown.JPG
General George S. Brown
Place of birth Montclair, New Jersey
Place of death Bethesda, Maryland
Resting place Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Air Force
Years of service 1941-1978
Rank general
Commands held Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Battles/wars World War II
Vietnam War
Awards Distinguished Service Cross
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal (4)
Silver Star
Legion of Merit (3)
Distinguished Flying Cross (2)
Bronze Star
Air Medal (4)
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Distinguished Flying Cross (UK)

General George Scratchley Brown (1918–1978) was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this capacity, he served as the senior military adviser to the President of the United States, the National Security Council and the Secretary of Defense. Through the commanders of the unified and specified commands, he was also responsible for executing the decisions of the National Command Authorities regarding worldwide readiness and employment of combat forces of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.


Early life and WW 2

The general was born in Montclair, New Jersey. He graduated from high school in Leavenworth, Kansas, and after attending the University of Missouri for a year, he received a congressional appointment to the United States Military Academy, graduating in 1941.

His first assignment after flight training was at Barksdale Field, Louisiana, where, as a member of the initial cadre of the 93d Bombardment Group, he flew B-24 Liberators. Moving with the organization to Fort Myers AAF, Florida, he flew both antisubmarine patrol and conventional bomber training.

In August 1942 he flew with the 93d Bombardment Group to England, the first B-24 Group to join the Eighth Air Force. Until April 1944, he served in various positions with the group, including commander of the 329th Bombardment Squadron, group operations and then executive officer. It was as executive officer that he took part in the famous "Operation Tidal Wave" low-level bombing raid against oil refineries at Ploieşti, Romania, August 1, 1943. The 93d Bomb Group was the second of five B-24 groups that raided Ploieşti from a temporary base at Benghazi, Libya. The 93d Bomb Group, led by its commander, flew directly into heavy defenses to hit three of the six target refineries. The lead plane and 10 others were shot down or crashed on the target. General Brown, then a major, took over the lead of the battered 93d and led it back to Benghazi. He received the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions on that mission.

Brown was appointed assistant operations officer, 2d Air Division, in May 1944. He assumed similar duties in May 1945 with Headquarters, Air Training Command at Carswell AAF, Fort Worth, Texas. In 1946 he joined Headquarters Air Defense Command at Mitchel Field, New York, as assistant to Air Chief of Staff, Operations, and later became assistant deputy for operations.

Korean War

During the Korean War in 1950, he became commander of the 62d Troop Carrier Group at McChord Air Force Base, Washington, which operated between the West Coast and Japan. During 1951 and the early part of 1952, he commanded the 56th Fighter Wing at Selfridge Air Force Base, Michigan, and in May 1952 joined Fifth Air Force Headquarters at Seoul, Korea, as director for operations.

Cold War period

In July 1953 Brown assumed command of the 3525th Pilot Training Wing at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona. He entered the National War College in 1956, and after graduation in 1957 served as executive to the Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force. In June 1959 he was selected to be military assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and later was military assistant to the Secretary of Defense.

General Brown and Vice President Nelson Rockefeller listen to a briefing on the evacuation of Saigon, April 28, 1975

Brown became commander of the Eastern Transport Air Force at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey in August 1963. In September 1964, he was selected to Joint Task Force II, a Joint Chiefs of Staff unit formed at Sandia Base, New Mexico to test weapon systems of all the military services.

He served as the assistant to the chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, in Washington, D.C., from August 1966 to August 1968. He then assumed command of the Seventh Air Force and also became deputy commander for air operations, U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam. As Seventh Air Force Commander, he was responsible for all Air Force combat air strike, air support and air defense operations in Southeast Asia. In his MACV position, he advised on all matters pertaining to tactical air support and coordinated the Republic of Vietnam and United States air operations in the MACV area of responsibility.

In September 1970 General Brown assumed duty as Commander, Air Force Systems Command, with headquarters at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and later life

General Brown was appointed by President Richard Nixon to be Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, effective August 1, 1973, and to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense, effective July 1, 1974.

He was a command pilot.

General Brown retired on June 21, 1978, and died on December 5, 1978.


During his term as CJCS, Brown commented on two occasions, to a Duke University audience in October, 1974, and to a French reporter in 1976, that Israel was becoming a burden to The Pentagon and believed that the reason for continual military aid was due to Jews having control over America's banks, newspapers and elected officials. His exact words were:

They own, you know, the banks in this country. The newspapers. Just look at where the Jewish money is.

Although he was reprimanded by President Gerald Ford to apologize and pressured to resign his post, Brown finished out his term under President Jimmy Carter. Brown also predicted that Iran would soon become an important military power in the Middle East.

Brown was known for the directness of his speech, which sometimes offended those around him. Asked once to comment on his opinion of the British Armed Forces, Brown replied, "The British? All they have are generals, admirals and bands."

Major awards and decorations

Distinguished Service Cross ribbon.svg
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Distinguished Service ribbon.svg
Silver Star ribbon.svg
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit ribbon.svg
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross ribbon.svg
Bronze Star ribbon.svg
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Medal ribbon.svg
Joint Service Commendation ribbon.svg
Army Commendation Medal ribbon.svg AF Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon.png
Valor device
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg
American Defense Service ribbon.svg
Bronze service star
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
Silver service star
Bronze service star
Bronze service star
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon.svg
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg
Bronze service star
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg
Bronze service star
Bronze service star
Silver service star
Bronze service star
Vietnam Service Ribbon.svg
Silver oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Air Force Longevity Service ribbon.svg
USAF Marksmanship ribbon.svg
Croix de guerre 1939-1945 with palm.jpg United Kingdom Distinguished Flying Cross ribbon.svg Presidential Unit Citation (Korea).svg
Silver award star
Cheon-Su Security Medal Ribbon.png
United Nations Service Medal for Korea ribbon.png VietnamCDR.gif Vietnam Air Force Distinguished Service Order Ribbon.png Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon.png

See also


Military offices
Preceded by
Gen. John D. Ryan
Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
Succeeded by
Gen. David C. Jones
Preceded by
Adm. Thomas H. Moorer
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Succeeded by
Gen. David C. Jones


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