OLEN AUBRY BROWN JR. was born on 21 September, 1935 in Decaturville, Tennessee, the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Olen A. Brown Sr. The Browns later moved to Memphis, Tennessee where "Brownie" graduated from Southside High School in 1953. He was immensely popular. "Olie" was sports editor of the high school paper, co-captain of the football team and president of the "S" Club. He was elected president of the senior class and was voted most popular and most likely to succeed.
Olen attended Rice Institute of Technology in Houston, Texas for the 1953-1954 academic sessions. During that time he received and accepted his appointment to West Point from Tennessee's 9th District. Olie joined the Class of 1958 for Beast Barracks in July 1954.
As a cadet, Brownie was very successful in academics. Stars frequently appeared on his gray uniform, and he was readily willing to help others in their academic efforts. He was quiet, philosophical and well spoken with a quick wit. He enjoyed all four years as a member of the Debate Council and Forum.
Olie owned a Corvette during his last two years at West Point. He enjoyed long and fast rides through the northeast, during which he managed to enrich the coffers of the states he had toured. We were not surprised when, looking for a faster ride and less interference, he chose the Air Force following graduation.
His service with the Air Force was highly successful but was curtailed when he resigned in 1963 in search of success in private business. Following his resignation, he moved to Milton, Florida where his parents had relocated from Tennessee.
Olen was a student of the Bible. He taught Sunday school all four years at West Point, so it was quite natural when he became the teacher of a class at the First Baptist Church of Milton. There he became an active church member and was well on his way to establishing a fine reputation in the community.
Olen and his father, who had moved to Milton in 1958, became partners in the construction business. Business and life were promising for him. He was soon to become engaged to a young woman from Milton. But, the marriage was not to be.
On 24 October 1964, less than six months after earning his private license, Olen and a friend were taking off in a Cessna 150 from Crestview Airport, Crestview, Florida. His friend was at the controls. Suddenly, just after takeoff, the Cessna went nose-down into the ground and burst into flames. Both men were trapped inside and perished. Olen was ushered into the presence of his Lord and has taken his place in the ghostly assemblage of the Long Gray Line. Olen, we salute you.