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Leslie E. Brown
Brown LE.jpg
LtGen Leslie E. Brown, USMC
Born (1920-07-07)July 7, 1920
Died September 12, 1997(1997-09-12) (aged 77)
Place of birth Washington
Place of death Palm Springs, California
Place of burial near Palm Springs, California
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1940-1978
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held MAG-12
3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
1st Marine Aircraft Wing[1]
Fleet Marine Force, Pacific
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Awards Silver Star (2)
Legion of Merit (3)
Distinguished Flying Cross
Bronze Star
Purple Heart

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.[2] In Vietnam, he was the First Wing Operations Officer (G-3), and then commanded a jet attack group (MAG-12)[3] and the attempted attack on the DaNang Airfield at Chu Lai, earning many aviation "firsts".[4]

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.

Awards and decorationsEdit

LtGen. Brown's personal decorations include:
Naval Aviator Badge
Gold star
Silver Star ribbon.svg
Gold star
Gold star
Legion of Merit ribbon.svg
Distinguished Flying Cross ribbon.svg
Bronze Star ribbon.svg
Gold star
Gold star
Purple Heart BAR.svg
Gold star
Air Medal ribbon.svg
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation ribbon.svg Combat Action Ribbon.svg
Bronze star
Bronze star
US Navy Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon.png
Bronze oakleaf-3d
Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg
Bronze star
Navy Unit Commendation ribbon.svg
Marine Corps Good Conduct ribbon.svg ADSM A.png
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbon.svg
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg Army of Occupation ribbon.svg
Bronze star
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Vietnam Service Ribbon.svg
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star
Vietnam gallantry cross-3d.svg
Presidential Unit Citation (Korea).svg Vietnam gallantry cross unit award-3d.svg United Nations Service Medal Korea.png Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon.png
Naval Aviator Badge
1st Row Silver Star w/ 1 award star
2nd Row Legion of Merit w/ 2 award stars & valor device Distinguished Flying Cross Bronze Star w/ valor device Purple Heart w/ 2 award stars
3rd Row Air Medal w/ 1 award star, valor device, & Strike/Flight numeral "8" Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal Combat Action Ribbon Navy Presidential Unit Citation w/ 2 service stars
4th Row Army Presidential Unit Citation w/ 1 oak leaf cluster Navy Unit Commendation w/ 1 service star Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal American Defense Service Medal w/ A Device
5th Row American Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 4 service stars World War II Victory Medal Navy Occupation Service Medal
6th Row National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 service star Korean Service Medal w/ 4 service stars Vietnam Service Medal w/ 3 service stars Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/ 3 gold stars
7th Row Korean Presidential Unit Citation Vietnam Gallantry Cross unit citation United Nations Korea Medal Vietnam Campaign Medal

Additionally, he was awarded the Veterans of Foreign Wars's highest award, the Grand Cross of Malta; and the Reserve Officer Association Meritorious Service Medal. In January 1975, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.


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.[5]

—LtGen Leslie E. Brown


  1. "History of the United States Air Force at Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base". Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  2. "This date in History" (PDF). U.S. Department of Defense. pp. page 3. Retrieved 2008-02-17. ""September 9, 1950:Capt. Leslie E. Brown became the first Marine Corps aviator to a fly a jet in combat." 
  3. "Attacks on MAG-16, Hill 22 and the attempted attack on the DaNang Airfield". Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  4. "LtGen Leslie E. Brown", Who's Who in Marine Corps History.
  5. "Leatherneck’s Famous Marine Quotes". Leatherneck magazine. Marine Corps Association. Archived from the original on 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2008-02-17. 


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