Brown, Byron, LCDR

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Last Rank
Lieutenant Commander
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1953-1955, 131X, Bureau of Aeronautics
Service Years
1935 - 1955
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Brown, Byron, LCDR USN(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Monroe County, IN
Last Address
Joshua Tree
San Bernardino County
California, USA

Date of Passing
Sep 09, 2004
Location of Interment
Riverside Memorial Park and Mausoleum - Riverside, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
49a, site 2446

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 20

 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge Lockheed Super Constellation 2000 Hr Pin

 Military Association Memberships
Post 7264, Joshua Tree PostPost 469
  1965, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 7264, Joshua Tree Post (Member) (Joshua Tree, California) - Chap. Page
  1965, American Legion, Post 469 (Recorder) (Yucca Valley, California) [Verified] - Chap. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Byron Eugene Brown, CNAP/LCDR, USN, (Ret.)
Chief NAP / Navy (enlisted) Aviation Pilot WWII
Pilot during the Berlin Airlift and Korean War

Byron E. Brown was born February 14, 1918, on a farm in Monroe County, Indiana. He enlisted in the Navy on October 15th, 1935, and after bootcamp at Great Lakes, he was assigned to the USS Arizona, 3rd Division, later the V Division. In April 1939 he was ordered to flight school, Pensacola, Florida. He graduated in April 1940. His class was the last that qualified in every type of aircraft the Navy had. 

During the first part of World War II he flew PBYs on submarine prtrol and convoy duty in the Atlantic, Caribbean and South America. In May 1944 he was ordered to Hedron 7 in England. His next tour was at the Naval Air Station (NAS) San Diego, California and then to transport squadrons. 

Brown flew 135 trips into Berlin during the airlift. He flew both of the Navy's Lockheed Constitution (R6V) aircraft for two years. His last duty was flying a desk at the Bureau of Aeronautics. 

Byron Brown retired on the first of November, 1955 as a Lieutenant Commander. He went to work for the Department of Airports, San Bernardino County, CA 1964-1976. 
Other Comments:

Lockheed R6V Constitution

Ship No. 1
The first Constitution, BuNo 85163, was built in the summer of 1946 at the Lockheed plant in Burbank, California. Due to the aircraft's large size—the tail towered 50 feet (15 m)—Lockheed had to build a special hangar for final assembly. The hangar, Lockheed-California's Building 309, measured 408 ft (124 m) long, 302 ft (92 m) wide, and the equivalent of six stories tall. The footprint of the hangar covered 4 acres (16,000 m2). It costed $1,250,000.

Ship No. 1 was delivered to Navy Transport Squadron VR-44, based at Naval Air Station Alameda, on 2 February 1949. Both it and its sister ship, Ship No. 2 (which followed six months later), flew the route between California and Hawaii, approximately 2,390 mi (3,850 km).

Ship No. 2
The second Constitution, BuNo 85164, first flew on 9 June 1948. Unlike Ship No. 1, the upper deck was fully furnished as a luxury passenger transport, with accommodations for 92 passengers and 12 crew. Accommodations on the upper deck of the first Constitution were decidedly more spartan. On the rear of the forward bulkhead, in front of the spiral staircase leading to the lower deck, there was a permanent display case containing a scale model of the original USS Constitution sailing ship.

The lower deck had 7,373 cubic feet (208.8 m3) of cargo space, and it was loaded by an electrical hoist. The lower deck could also be converted to seat an additional 76 passengers.

The second Constitution, like its predecessor, also made a non-stop transcontinental flight. On 3 February 1949, the aircraft flew 74 members of the press from Moffett Field to Washington National Airport. At the time, this was the largest number of people flown across the United States in a single flight. This flight inaugurated six months of regular service between Washington, D.C. and San Francisco.

In the early 1950s, Ship No. 2 made a Navy recruiting tour of 19 cities. The side of the fuselage proudly advertised "Your Navy—Air And Sea." Some 546,000 toured the aircraft's interior.

Final disposition
The Constitution had operational difficulties which prevented it from meeting its original design objectives. The large airframe needed more power than the four Pratt & Whitney R-4360s could deliver, and the engines had cooling problems. While this could be compensated for by flying with engine cowl flaps partially open, it increased drag and decreased range.

The Navy operated the two Constitutions through the end of the 1940s and into the 1950s. By 1949 the Navy announced that it could no longer afford to operate them, and offered them to airlines on a five-year lease. There was no interest from airlines in using the Constitutions (the airline version was named the Model 189), so the Navy retired both aircraft in 1953. They went into storage at Litchfield Park, Arizona in 1955. Both aircraft and 13 spare engines were sold for $97,785. Lockheed proposed the Model 389 and Model 489 airliners based on the Constitution, which would have accommodated up to 169 passengers. Neither of these "paper" projects received much interest from civil operators.

The first Constitution was brought to Las Vegas, where it served as an enormous billboard for Alamo Airways,[6] before being scrapped by Howard Hughes when he acquired the property. The second Constitution was flown to Opa-Locka Airport, Florida, where it was stored on the airfield before being towed to an empty lot several miles from the airport. There were plans to convert it to a restaurant and museum theme park. The project never materialized and the airplane was destroyed due to lack of funding and pressure from the city to have it removed.

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 Duty Stations
RTC Great Lakes, IL (Company Commander/Staff)USS Arizona (BB-39)School Assignments - StaffUS Navy
NAS San Diego<B>US Air Force (USAF)</b>/Military Air Transport Service (MATS)NAS Lakehurst/Naval Air Test Facility Ship Installation (NATF SI)
  1935-1936, RTC Great Lakes, IL (Company Commander/Staff)
  1936-1938, BM-0000, USS Arizona (BB-39)
  1938-1939, AB-0000, USS Arizona (BB-39)
  1939-1940, AP-0000, Naval Flight Schools
  1942-1944, AP-0000, Commander Patrol Plane Squadrons US Fleet (COMPATRONUSFLT)
  1944-1945, AP-0000, HQ Squadron (HEDRON)
  1946-1948, 131X, NAS San Diego
  1948-1950, 131X, US Air Force (USAF)/Military Air Transport Service (MATS)
  1950-1953, 131X, NAS Lakehurst/Naval Air Test Facility Ship Installation (NATF SI)
  1953-1955, 131X, Bureau of Aeronautics
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1944 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  1944-1945 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater
  1948-1949 Cold War Event - Berlin Airlift
  1950-1950 Korean War/UN Defensive (1950)
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Lockheed R6V Constitution8
  Nov 01, 1955, Byron Eugene Brown, CAP/LCDR, USN, (Ret.)2
  Mar 17, 2016, General Photos
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