Benjamin Ralph Brown

Crew Chief - 17th Troop Carrier Sqdn.

World War II

Technical Sergeant Benjamin R. Brown, ASN 17025895, was born in Minneapolis, MN on April 29, 1922. His parents were Winifred Etta Brown and Henry Wallace Brown. His sister was Martha Jeanne Brown. The family lived at 1401 East 28th Street in Minneapolis. At the age of nineteen, on June 9, 1941, Ben joined the Army at Ft. Snelling, Minnesota.

“July 18, 2942, 4:32 a.m. I started to be the most miserable and worried doggy in the Air Corps. I hit a pole with my left wing about eight feet in from the tip, while I was taxiing back from the hangar where I had worked all night putting in new instruments. There, I have all my troubles in one sentence. I’ll break all that down for you so you can see what happened. (1.) I worked all night—tired and not as alert as could be. (2.) I was taxiing from the right hand side (right seat) and pole was on the left. Friend sitting on left wasn’t watching as he should have been. (3.) Man on alert crew who was outside guiding us on the left wing as we turned into our parking place was standing behind the wing where my man sitting on my left could have not have seen him signal if he did signal that we were near an obstruction.

Luckily we were going slow and the damage was not excessive. The civilians who have been working (?) at repairing the wing in the sub-depot said that it would take a week to repair the wing depending on when the parts arrive. They have three shifts working on it and have done nothing but tear the wing up some more. The only time they work seems to be when I am there to prod them along. I have been down there at night during both night shifts and have seen all they do is play around. I’d be ashamed to draw my pay if I were one of them.

I don’t know what will happen to me for messing up my airplane so you can see why I want to get it back in commission as soon as possible. Me and this guy that was with me are the only two guys here from our outfit now. The rest went back to Westfield.”


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