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First Name: George

Last Name: Brown

Birthplace: Montclair, NJ, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Air Force (1947 - present)

Home of Record: Leavenworth, KS
Middle Name: Scratchley

Date of Birth: 17 August 1918

Date of Death: 05 December 1978

Rank: General

Years Served: 1941-1978
George Scratchley Brown

Graduate, U.S. Military Academy, Class of 1941

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


George Scratchley Brown
General, U.S. Air Force

George Scratchley Brown was born on 17 August 1918 in Montclair, NJ. He graduated from high school in Leavenworth, KS, and after attending the University of Missouri for a year, received a congressional appointment to the U.S. Military Academy. He graduated in 1941 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Forces.

Military Career

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

In August 1942, he flew with the 93rd 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 Ploie┼čti, Romania, on 1 August 1943. The 93rd Bomb Group was the second of five B-24 groups that raided Ploie┼čti from a temporary base at Benghazi, Libya. The 93rd 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. Major Brown took over the lead of the battered 93rd and led it back to Benghazi. He received the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions on that mission.

Brown was appointed Assistant Operations Officer, 2nd Air Division, in May 1944. He assumed similar duties in May 1945 with Headquarters, Air Training Command at Carswell AAF, Fort Worth, TX. In 1946 he joined Headquarters Air Defense Command at Mitchel Field, NY, 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 62nd Troop Carrier Group at McChord Air Force Base, WA, which operated between the West Coast and Japan. During 1951 and the early part of 1952, he Commanded the 56th Fighter Wing at Selfridge AFB, MI, and in May 1952 joined Fifth Air Force Headquarters in Seoul, Korea, as Director for Operations.

The Cold War Years

In July 1953, Brown assumed Command of the 3525th Pilot Training Wing at Williams AFB, AZ. 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.

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

From August 1966 to August 1968, he served as Assistant to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, DC. On 1 August 1968, Brown was promoted to the rank of four-star General and assumed Command of the Seventh Air Force and also became Deputy Commander for Air Operations, U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV). 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 U.S. air operations in the MACV area of responsibility.

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

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

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

General Brown retired on 21 June 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:

It's so strong you wouldn't believe now. We have the Israelis coming to us for equipment. We say we can't possibly get the Congress to support that. They say, 'Don't worry about the Congress. We will take care of the Congress.' Now this is somebody from another country, but they can do it. 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's comments at Duke, and his subsequent reprimand by President Ford, were reported on the front page of The Washington Post on 13 November 1974 and 14 November 1974, respectively. 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."

Medals, Awards and Badges

Distinguished Service Cross
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Air Force Distinguished Service Medal with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star Medal
Legion of Merit with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Distinguished Flying Cross with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Bronze Star Medal (Merit)
Air Medal with 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Presidential Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor Device
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
European-African- Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Silver and 2 Bronze Stars
World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
Korean Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars
Vietnam Service Medal with Silver and Bronze Star
Air Force Longevity Service Award with Silver and 3 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Air Force Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
Croix de guerre (France)
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Command Pilot Badge
Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge

He was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross from the United Kingdom.

Death and Burial

General George Scratchley Brown died of cancer on 5 December 1978 in Bethesda, MD. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 21, Lot S-34 Grid N-20.5.

Honoree ID: 448   Created by: MHOH




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