Brown had fallen critically ill over the winter and had a pacemaker installed. He was trying to get back into exercising when he was interviewed in May. Not one for idleness, Brown completed the NYC Marathon nine times! Here’s a recent interview.
Capt. Brown commanded the 100th Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group, known as the Tuskegee Airmen, during World War II. He flew 68 long-range missions from August of 1944 to March of 1945. He’s credited with being the first 15th Air Force pilot to shoot down a German jet fighter, a feat that happened on March 24, 1945 while escorting bombers near Berlin. It was the longest escort mission to take place in the war. Brown’s airplane, a P-51 Mustang named “Bunnie” was named for his eldest daughter, Doris, born while he was fighting overseas.
The Airman earned multiple awards for his actions in WWII including: The Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with eight Oak Leaf Clusters. In 2000 he was among those in attendance when President George W. Bush presented the Airmen the Congressional Gold Medal. And in 2006 he, and the Airmen, were presented the Congressional Medal of Honor by unanimous vote of Congress.
His father, Dr Roscoe C Brown, Sr (1884-1963), was a dentist and an official in the United States Public Health Service.
Prior to his wartime service, he graduated from Springfield College, Springfield, Mass., where he was valedictorian of the Class on 1943. After the war, Captain Brown resumed his education. His doctoral dissertation was on exercise physiology and he became a professor at New York University and President of Bronx Community College. In 1992, Brown received an honorary doctor of humanics degree from alma mater Springfield College.
On March 29, 2007, Brown attended a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol rotunda, where he and the other Tuskegee Airmen collectively, not individually, were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of their service.
He resided in Riverdale, New York, until his death in 2016. He was also a member, and past president, of the 100 Black Men of America New York Chapter. He was a professor of Urban Education at the CUNY Graduate Center. According to his granddaughter, Brown died on July 2, 2016 at a hospital in the Bronx, NY after breaking his hip in a recent fall. He was 94.