An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

A/TA honors Maj. Gen. Donald D. Brown during unveiling ceremony

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Solomon Cook
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

The Huyser Chapter of the Airlift/Tanker Association unveiled a sculpted bust of the late Maj. Gen. Donald D. Brown for their Memorial Walkway during a ceremony here May 25. 

Brown, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2021, was honored for his contributions to aviation and air mobility spanning his 32-year “brilliant” career balancing his operational assignments in logistics and supply. He graduated from pilot training in 1956 and was assigned to the 18th Air Transport Squadron, Military Air Transport Service flying C-118s. He served in MATS, Military Airlift Command, Strategic Air Command and Special Ops, to include a Vietnam combat tour from 1968-1969. 

Some of his significant contributions include, but are not limited to: generating the weapon system modernization programs that enabled the nation’s air mobility capability to meet challenges of the first Gulf War and the uncertainties of the 21st Century and post-9/11 world; he accumulated over 10,000 accident-free flying hours–more than any other mobility general officer in history; and he was an Eagle Claw Award recipient from the Special Operations Warrior Foundation for his support of the Families and Children of fallen Special Operations Warriors in March 2013.

“The Airlift/Tanker Association’s Hall of Fame exists to [recognize] someone who through personal sacrifice and determination made changes, challenged the system, created vision, and made lasting impacts for future generations,” said   “[It’s] to remind us that we have an obligation to carry on and improve those ideas. Those innovations and the creativity makes us the greatest Air Force on planet Earth.”

During the ceremony, Gen. Mike Minihan, Air Mobility Command commander, shared details of Brown’s innovations and contributions to air mobility that continue to affect warfighting still today.

“He showed us the culture we need to win is still alive today. He led the warrior culture by example in Vietnam, and built a force aggressively focused on action and unbound by the status quo. He bolstered the mobility heritage we stand on today, inspiring us to follow his lead and to continue to break down barriers, stop admiring problems, and close on what we need to win. These times are different, but the messages are still the same. Now, Don is home among the mobility giants–among the mobility warriors–where he belongs in the Hall of Fame,” he said.

Brown passed away May 8, 2020, and is survived by his wife of 65 years, Joan, who accepted the award on his behalf.

“If a leader is someone who people want to work for, someone who inspires enthusiasm, rather than fear, Don was that person,” she said fondly about her husband. “Throughout his life, he was an optimist, a problem solver, and one who knew that happiness came from service to others. He found the way to do that in his love for God, country and a family that included the United States Air Force. They say the biggest test of a person's life is whether anyone else has reason to be thankful you were there. Don passed that test with flying colors. From him and from our family, thank you for the great honor and for years of friendship.”

The A/TA Memorial Walkway is located in front of the 375th Air Mobility Wing Headquarters building near AMC, and Gen. Brown’s likeness will remain there alongside 32 other recipients of this honor. Those interested can read about them at A/TA’s mission is to promote scientific and academic research regarding the continuing development of the nation’s air mobility capabilities; and sponsor speaking engagements, seminars, symposiums, conventions, and public forums that further the development of all aspects of air mobility.