Retired June 21, 1978. Died Dec. 5, 1978.
Gen. George Scratchley Brown is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense, Washington, D.C. In this capacity, he serves as the senior military adviser to the president, the National Security Council and the secretary of defense. Through the commanders of the unified and specified commands, he is 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.
The general was born in Montclair, N.J. He graduated from high school in Leavenworth, Kan., and after attending the University of Missouri for a year, he received a congressional appointment to the U.S, Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., in 1937.
His first assignment after flying training was at Barksdale Field, La., where as a member of the initial cadre of the 93d Bombardment Group, he flew B-24 Liberators. Moving with the organization to Ft. Myers, Fla., he flew antisubmarine patrol.
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 low-level bombing raid against oil refineries at Ploesti, Rumania, Aug. 1, 1943. The 93d Group was the second of five B-24 groups that raided Ploesti from a temporary base at Bengasi, Libya. The 93d 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 Bengasi. 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 Fort Worth, Texas. In 1946 he joined Headquarters Air Defense Command at Mitchel Field, N.Y., as assistant to Air Chief of Staff, Operations, and later became assistant deputy for operations.
During the Korean War in 1950, he became commander of the 62d Troop Carrier Group at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., 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, Mich., and in May 1952 joined Fifth Air Force Headquarters at Seoul, Korea, as director for operations.
In July 1953 Brown assumed command of the 3525th Pilot Training Wing at Williams Air Force Base, Ariz. 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, McGuire Air Force Base, N.J. in August 1963. In September 1964, he was selected to Joint Task Force II, a Joint Chiefs of Staff unit formed at Sandia Base, N.M. 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, Md. General Brown was appointed by the president to be chief of staff of the U. S. Air Force, effective Aug. 1, 1973, and to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense, effective July 1, 1974.
He is a command pilot.
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal and Army Commendation Medal.