Joseph Orville Brown – Captain, United States Air Force

Captain Joseph Orville Brown was from Norwalk, Connecticut and born on 29 September 1934. He was 31 and married when he was declared dead. His remains were recovered and eventually buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Captain Brown was a Nail Forward Air Controller assigned to Detachment 3 505th Tactical Air Support Group at Nahkon Phanom RTAFB Thailand. He was flying O-1F S/N 57-2800 with an observer of unknown nationality near Ban Pongdong just south of the  Mu Gia Pass when his aircraft was hit by ground fire. He reported aircraft damage and was eventually seen in a rolling dive out of control.

From a contemporary press report: April 23, 1999

Thirty-three years to the day his aircraft was shot down over Laos, Air Force Captain Joseph O. Brown received a full-honors funeral at the Fort Myer Post Chapel that included a fly-over by four Air Force F-15 fighters.

According to Air Force reports, Brown, a pilot in the 505th TAC Control Group, was on a mission over Laos on April 19, 1966, when his aircraft was struck by hostile fire.

Brown then radioed that part of the right horizontal stabilizer had been blown off, and that he was going to a higher altitude. The aircraft was observed to roll twice while in a steep dive and crash.

No parachute was seen, but white smoke was seen to rise from the crash site.

Joint teams of U.S. and Laos specialists visited the area of the crash on two occasions in 1994 and 1995. Led by the Joint Task Force-Full Accounting, the teams recovered pilot-related items, an aircraft data plate from Brown’s aircraft, as well as human remains.

Anthropological analysis of the remains and other evidence by the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii, established the identification of Brown and Air Force Colonel Gregory I. Barras.

With the identification of these two Air Force officers, the remains of 507 Americans have now been accounted for since 1973, and 2,076 are still unaccounted for from the war in Southeast Asia.

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