Russell D. Brown

Information submitted by Gene Miller on August 10, 2004

In pursuing some of my own military clippings, I found both a picture and some good information on my old Fairchild buddy, Russell Brown, United States Navy.

A faded clipping, which I suppose was in the Eau Claire Leader back then, says: "Somewhere in the Pacific is Russell D. Brown, son of Mrs. and Mr. Robert Brown, Fairchild. He enlisted in the Navy on August 27, 1940, shortly after graduating from Fairchild High School. He has been stationed along both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States.  He spent a half year aboard the USS Yorktown and took part in the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway. When his ship was sunk in the battle of Midway, he was picked up and taken to one of the islands. He later attended school at Pearl Harbor."

His old high school friend, Gene Miller, reportsfrom after-the-war visits with Russellthat Russell had to jump off the slanting deck of the Yorktown, which had been badly hit, from considerable height. Miller said, "Russell thought of the way we used to dive off the old bridge into the Eau Claire River north of Fairchild on Hwy 12."

It turned out that Russell was taken to Pearl Harbor by destroyer and was then sent back to the United States for re-training. Having been a deck hand on the Yorktown and used to ducking around the aircraft that was waiting to take off, Russ elected to take Naval Flight Training. He completed flight training, and during this time, he and Gene Miller got together at his base at Oklahoma City about 1944.

Russell was returned to the fleet, where he flew Corsairs during the end of the war. Russell stayed in the Navy for several years, attending Marquette University under a Navy program.

During retirement in the South, his first wife Gloria died from cancer on July 25, 1980. Later, Russell married again and enjoyed teaching high school science students near Bartlett, TN. 

Russell died shortly after Memorial Day in 1994.


Information submitted by Gene Miller on November 28, 2005

Russell Brown somewhere in South Pacific 1943

Russell Brown entered the U.S. Navy as soon as he had graduated from Fairchild High School in 1940. He went through The Naval Training Station in Illinois and joined the fleet immediately. He was on the high seas when Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese, but not in port. Russ was assigned to the Carrier Yorktown and survived the battle of the Coral Sea where the Yorktown was damaged.

While in port at Pearl for repairs, luckily he ran into three other young men from Fairchild, Harold Sleeter, Vincent and Alphones Melcher, and Mickey Johnson at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel where they rested.
He was on the Yorktown in the battle of Midway when the Carrier was badly damaged and was rescued by a destroyer after jumping from the flight deck which was high above the water. He was returned to Pearl Harbor and then sent to the States where he asked for Pilot Training. He had been a deck hand on the Yorktown and worked around the planes and pilots and wanted to fly.


Russell Brown after his commission about 1945

He attended Navy flight school at Norman, Oklahoma for some of his training where he rendezvoused with Gene Miller, a boyhood friend also from Fairchild who flew in with a P-40 aircraft. He returned to Carriers in the South Pacific after training and flew the gull winged Corsair, a new type then for the Navy until war's end.
Having enlisted with a Navy career in mind, Russell remained in the Navy after the war and was sent to college for further education. He served a number of tours and when he retired taught science and mathematics in high schools for a time. Russell died in Bartlett, Tennesee shortly after Memorial Day in 1994.


Russell Brown -- Gene Miller--Calvin Dauffenbach
Fairchild friends about 1938.