From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Robert Brown '57

Date of birth: October 1, 1933

Date of death: November 7, 1972

Age: 39

Lucky Bag

From the 1957 Lucky Bag:


From The Congressional Record on May 9, 2013:

Mr. KAINE. Mr. President, I rise today to honor a fallen airman who died in military service to this country. U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Robert M. Brown, of Portsmouth, VA, was lost on Nov. 7, 1972 in his F-111 near Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam. The remains of Lieutenant Colonel Brown were located in North Vietnam and returned June 7, 1995. He was finally identified on December 14, 2011 and accounted for on February 25, 2012.

Robert Brown graduated from the US Naval Academy in the top 30 percent of his class and was given his choice of branch of service. He chose the US Air Force and trained as a pilot while adding to his bachelor of military science degree with an electrical engineering degree from the University of Michigan. Before his first deployment he was assigned to NASA and worked on the Mercury and Gemini Space programs. During his first tour of duty in Southeast Asia in 1966, Major Brown compiled an impressive record of 299 combat missions while flying the F100 Super Sabre. Upon returning to the United States, he went to work in Research and Development for America's Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems program as a project scientist. In 1972 he returned to Vietnam for his second tour as a highly decorated fighter pilot to fly the most advanced combat aircraft of its time--the F111A Aardvark.

On November 7, 1972, the F111A crew, call sign "Whaler 57" departed Takhli Airbase, Thailand on a single aircraft strike mission. Its target was the Luat Son Highway ferry and ford nestled in a populated and forested area where the highway crossed over the river approximately 24 miles south of the major port city of Dong Hoi. After reporting that its mission was proceeding normally, radio contact was lost after 0400 and by 0500 a 2 week long search and rescue effort was commenced.

Efforts to recover "Whaler 57" were unsuccessful, but the remains of Lieutenant Colonel Brown have finally been found and identified. Lieutenant Colonel Brown is survived by his sister Gail and his children Beverly, Margie, and Bruce. Today, I ask all Members of the Senate to join me as we honor the life and legacy Lt. Col. Robert M. Brown, and the other Americans in our Armed Forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. There are no words fitting enough to fully express our thanks.

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From Wall of Faces:

In January 2012, we were told that remains had been found and identified as Dad's. He has been found and returned to US soil. My dad died as he would have wanted - flying an airplane and serving his country. BEVERLY BROWN, BROWNBEV4@YAHOO.COM, 8/9/12

Major Robert Brown worked with my husband, then Lt. Edwin V. Harringtonjr at Hanscom Field(MA) in AFCRL. We babysat his three beautiful children, and Eva attended our wedding. He was everything a husband,father and officer could be, and will be missed every day we live. May he rest in peace. We mourn his loss to our world. He was in our hearts from the moment we met him, and is in our prayers today. ELAINE AND EDWIN V HARRINGTON,JR. LTC, USAF RET., 12/22/06

Class of 1957

Robert is one of 38 members of the Class of 1957 on Virtual Memorial Hall.