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F. Taylor Brown, Rear Admiral, USN (ret.) died Monday, July 11, 2011, in a car accident in Little Rock. He was born August 11, 1925 in Ashland, Wisconsin, the son of Frank and Lavina Brown. He enlisted in the Navy in 1943 at age 18 as a Seaman 2nd Class, was commissioned as an Ensign in 1945, and retired as a Rear Admiral in 1979. He had a distinguished career in the Navy as an aviator and test pilot. Significant events include winning the jet division of the Bendix Trophy Race of the Cleveland National Air Races in 1948, setting the World Time-To-Climb record to 20,000 meters in the F4H Phantom jet, and completing the first transatlantic flight in a single-engine jet. He flew over 65 different types of aircraft.
Other noteworthy career highlights include: Commanding Officer of USS Guadalupe, a fleet oiler; Commanding Officer of USS Inchon, a helicopter carrier; Commander, Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, MD; and Defense Attache’, U.S. Embassy, London, England. He was the recipient of the Legion of Merit, 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 2 Bronze Stars, and numerous other commendations and medals.
After retirement from the Navy, he joined Falcon Jet Corporation, Little Rock, AR as Vice President and Program Manager in 1980, was promoted to Senior Vice President and General Manager in 1985, and retired after 11 years in 1991. He was inducted into the Arkansas Aviation Hall of Fame in 1991 and became a member of the Little Rock Airport Commission in 1995.
At his death, he was a proud member of The Golden Eagles, The Early and Pioneer Naval Aviators Association. Per the Naval Historical Center web site, membership in The Golden Eagles is limited to 200 aviators and “selection for membership will be made from those who were or are pioneers in some new aspect of Naval Aviation or who were respected by their peers as leaders because of their outstanding skills as a pilot, their wide experience, good judgment, personal character, and dedication to flying”.