`A compelling portrait of a quiet hero, of the racial climate between 1926 and 1959, and of the last days of propeller-driven naval aviation.'
Jesse Leroy Brown was born in 1926 to sharecroppers in segregated southern USA. An outstanding student and a top athlete, he set his sights on becoming a Navy pilot despite the resistance of his family and the Jim Crow laws. Brown qualified for the Navy reserve and was accepted into the Naval Air Training School at Glenview, Illinois. He was the first black man to enter the program, and went on to become the first black man to fly a Navy fighter and make a carrier landing.
During the Korean War his squadron operated from USS Leyte, and Brown flew F4U-4 Corsair fighters in support of United Nations forces. Tragically, on 4 December 1950, Jesse Brown was shot down while on a close air support mission and, despite the heroic attempts of other pilots to rescue him, he died in his aircraft.
Based on archival documents and interviews with those who knew Brown, The Flight of Leroy Brown is both a stirring story of a man breaking historic racial barriers and a thrilling tale of naval carrier aviation and combat.
About the Author
Theodore Taylor is the author of more than fifty fiction and non-fiction books including the classic novel, The Cay.
Theodore Taylor was born in North Carolina and began writing at the age of thirteen as a cub reporter for the Portsmouth, Virginia Evening Star. Leaving home at seventeen to join the Washington Daily News as a copy boy, he worked his way toward New York City and became an NBC network sportswriter at the age of nineteen.