This week we are highlighting two important, recent anniversaries in Naval History: first, the birthday of Jesse L. Brown, a pioneering and remarkable Naval Aviator, and second, the first commissioning of a group of women into the Active Duty, regular Navy.
Editor’s Note: Thursday Tidings and the NHF leadership team appreciates the feedback received about Korean War hero Jesse L. Brown.
We were advised and confirmed that Ensign Oscar W. Holmes, USNR, is credited with being the first African American Naval Pilot, as he entered the Navy after becoming a qualified pilot in civilian life. He was designated as the Navy’s first black naval aviator on 30 June 1943 after completing flight instructor training. He was not required to attend the basic pilot training course as ENS Brown was required to do, making Brown the first African American pilot who attended and graduated from Naval Flight training. For more information, see Robert J. Schneller’s article on Holmes in the January-February 1998 issue of Naval Aviation magazine,