Died Nov. 8, 1997.
Sheldon Seymour Brownton was born in Prairie City, Ore., in 1906, received his primary education in LaGrande, Ore., and graduated from high school in June 1924. He attended the University of Washington at Seattle, graduating in l928 with a bachelor of science degree. General Brownton entered Washington University Medical School in St. Louis, Mo., in September 1929 and graduated with the degree of doctor of medicine in June 1933. Internship was completed at the California Hospital in Los Angeles in June 1934. In September 1934, General Brownton entered on extended active duty in Boise, Idaho where he remained until November 1938. During the major portion of this period, he served as district surgeon for the Boise District of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Additional hospital training was obtained during this time primarily in Otorhinolaryngology.
Returning to inactive service in December 1938, General Brownton entered private practice in Clayton, Mo., in January 1939 where he remained until March 1941 when he was recalled to extended active duty at Chanute Field, Ill. There he served as executive officer to the base surgeon until September 1941 when he was reassigned as acting surgeon of the Army Air Corps Technical Training Command with headquarters at Tulsa, Okla. In March 1942, this headquarters was moved to Knollwood, N.C., where General Brownton continued to serve as surgeon of the command. He attended the School of Aviation Medicine in 1943, graduating with the rating of aviation medical examiner, then returned to Knollwood, N.C.
The rating of flight surgeon was awarded in August 1944. The Army Air Technical Training Command was combined with the Army Air Force Flying Training Command in the fall of 1943, with headquarters at Fort Worth, Texas. General Brownton was reassigned to the new headquarters and moved to Fort Worth, Texas in September 1943 where he served an executive officer to the command surgeon in charge of medical activities of the former Technical Training Command. In March 1946, the headquarters was moved to Barksdale Field La., where General Brownton was assigned as chief of medical personnel for the Office of the Command Surgeon.
Transferred to Alaska in October 1946, General Brownton was assigned as air surgeon of the Alaskan Air Command, returning to the United States in November 1948 as air surgeon of the First Air Force at Fort Slocum (then Mitchel Field), N.Y.
In January l950, General Brownton was reassigned as air surgeon of the Continental Air Command without change in station. On July 1, 1951 he was reassigned to the Armed Forces Medical Policy Council in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, now the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health and Medical). During this assignment, General Brownton has served as staff member, executive assistant to the assistant secretary of defense (Health and Medical) and as director of the staff, the position to which he is currently assigned.
Included in the associations with which he is affiliated are the American Medical Association, the Aero-Medical Association and the Association of Military Surgeons.
General Brownton was made a founding member of the Section on Aviation Medicine of the American Board of Preventive Medicine in November 1953, and a Fellow of the Aero-Medical Association in March l955. He served as secretary of the Section of Military Medicine of the American Medical Association in 1951 and 1952.
His decorations include the Legion of Merit and the Commendation Medal. He is rated as a senior flight surgeon. Constructive credit equivalents were awarded on Oct. 6, 1947 for attendance at Command and General Staff Course.