Brown was born October 13, 1926. From Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Brown graduated from Ohio State University and enlisted in the U. S. Naval Reserve in 1946. His enlistment was terminated a year later after which he accepted an appointment as a midshipman in the U. S. Navy. Midshipman Brown joined Fighter Squadron 32 in 1949 and was commissioned as an Ensign on 15 April of that year. Ensign Brown's squadron joined Fast Carrier Task Force 77 in Korea in October 1950.
As a pilot of Fighter Squadron 32, Ensign Brown became a section leader and received the Air Medal for daring attacks against the enemy at Wonsan, Chongjin, Songjin, and Sinanju.
In addition, during the Korean War he led his section in the heart of hostile anti-aircraft fire, helping inflict heavy losses on the enemy.
On December 4th, 1950, during close air support to the Marines fighting near Chosin Reservoir, his plane was struck by enemy fire and crashed. Brown died.
The USS JESSE L. BROWN (FFT-1089) was named in honor of Ensign Jesse Leroy Brown, U.S. Naval Reserve, the first Black naval officer to lose his life in combat during the Korean War.
Excerpts from http://www.anothershadeofcolor.com.