Gone West – Dr. Harold Brown, U.S.A.F. Retired, Tuskegee Airmen
Port Clinton, Ohio (January 20, 2023) - It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tuskegee Airman, Lt. Col. Harold Brown, Ph.D, on January 12, 2023. Brown was a U.S. Army Air Force officer who served during World War II as a combat fighter pilot with the 332nd Fighter Group, best known as the Tuskegee Airmen. A man who survived the brutal realities of being a POW during World War II and multiple wars as a fighter pilot, Brown would go on to be a leader in higher education, an award-winning author along with his wife, Dr. Marsha Bordner, and an inspiration to millions. His story of courage under fire, fortitude as a prisoner of war, and grit to defy the daunting obstacle of racism resonated with so many and he will be missed.
Through the years Brown has been generous with his guidance and support for the CAF Red Tail Squadron. As the CAF RISE ABOVE: Red Tail program evolved, he provided direction to program leaders, spoke in-person at many events, and even hosted the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit in his hometown of Port Clinton, Ohio. He exemplified the attitude and passion that is characteristic of the Greatest Generation.
A native of Minneapolis, MN., Dr. Brown’s personal history is full of remarkable points of interest… and inspiration. As a child, he dreamed of being a pilot, even though at the time Black men were regarded as incapable of flying for the military. With the advent of the flight-training program at the Tuskegee Institute in 1941, Brown got his chance to fly and graduated from the program in 1944, earning a spot in the famed 332nd Fighter Group. You can read more about his thoughts and experiences with the P-51 online at https://cafriseabove.org/in-awe-of-the-p-51-mustang.
His experience during World War II does not fully define Brown. His many successes after the War illustrate his passion for education and community service. Brown went on to earn a Ph.D., retiring from Columbus State Community College as Vice President of Academic Affairs. His remarkable experiences are the subject of “Keep Your Airspeed Up”, a book co-authored with Dr. Marsha Bordner, Brown’s wife, and also an education professional, who retired as president of Terra Community College in Fremont, Ohio.
This video shot in 2010, shows Dr. Harold Brown talking about the CAF Rise Above Project.