From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Frank Brown, Jr. '61

Date of birth: December 18, 1938

Date of death: September 19, 1966

Age: 27

Lucky Bag

From the 1961 Lucky Bag:


Frank was lost when the F-4B Phantom II (BuNo 152315) he was piloting crashed into the South China Sea following a bad catapult shot from USS Constellation (CV 64) on September 19, 1966. He has a memory marker in Arlington National Cemetery.


From the November 1966 issue of SHIPMATE.

From the November 1966 issue of SHIPMATE:

Lt. Frank M. Brown, Jr., USN, died on 19 Sept. in an aircraft accident at sea in the Far East, while serving as a pilot in USS CONSTELLATION. Memorial services were held at the Airman Memorial Chapel, Naval A ir Station, Miramar, Calif., and in the First Methodist Church at Tunkhannock, Pa.

Lt. Brown, who was born in Scranton, Pa., at- tended Lehigh University a year before entering the Naval Academy, from where he was graduated in 1961. As a midshipman he was a member of the sailing team, the Drum and Bugle Corps and the concert band. Hew as designated a naval aviator at Pensacola, Fla., with further training at Meridian, Miss., and Beeville, Tex. He served as an instructor at the Combat Information Center at Glance, Ga., and in Phantom RAG (F4s) at Key West, Fla. His duty stations included VG-31 at naval Air Station Cecil Field, Jacksonville; in USS Saratoga, and in VG-151, NAS Miramar.

He is survived by his widow, the former Marguerite Riley…; his father, Mr. Frank M. Brown of Tunkhannock; his mother, Mrs. Robert Kizer of Towanda, Pa., and a grandmother, Mrs. Dorothy Brown of Tunkhannock.


From Virtual Wall:

I served with Frank, on my second tour during the early days of Rolling Thunder, with USN Fighter Squadron 151. Our squadron flew the F-4 Phantom.

Frank and his RIO, David Henry, went down in the South China Sea after a bad cat shot, fully loaded with bombs and fuel. They were serving their country, the same as all Vietnam Veterans did.

Our squadron lost other air crews that have not made it to the Virtual Wall, yet. A couple of other guys in my squadron ended up spending the remainder of their war in the Hanoi Hilton. As I was leaving my third tour (September, 1967) we lost another air crew - but I'm not sure who they were.

Do not forget these men, and all the others, who have given their lives to defend our country! Freedom is not Free!

Rich Knoch, VF-151 (1965-67),, 20 Jun 2005

From Wall of Faces:

Frank Brown was my Dad's first cousin. I never met him, he died 4 months before I was born. I have his photo and have thought about him often over the years and wondered what he was like. My grandmother loved him very much and spoke very highly of him when I was growing up.

I want to say how much I appreciate the sacrifice he made for the sake of freedom. Even though I never met him, I don't think I will ever forget him. DANIEL J. BROWN, 12/11/02


Frank is among those names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. As his loss was not due directly to hostile action, though, he does not appear in the VIetnam War section of the Killed In Action panel in Memorial Hall.

Memorial Hall Error?

Frank is not listed on the killed in action panel in the front of Memorial Hall. While not an obvious error, inclusion on the panel for crashes like this (incidental to combat flights) has been inconsistent across WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

Class of 1961

Frank is one of 23 members of the Class of 1961 on Virtual Memorial Hall.