Paul Brown was born in 1943 in Massachusetts. After completing all requirements on an accelerated summer undergraduate course completion at Boston University in January 1966, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on February 18, 1966, and began Officer Candidate School at MCB Quantico, Virginia, in March 1966. He was commissioned a 2nd Lt on May 26, 1966, and received his bachelor’s degree from Boston University in June 1966 with the rest of his classmates. Lt Brown next attended Naval Flight Officer training at NAS Pensacola, Florida, followed by Radar Intercept Officer training for F-4 Phantom IIs at NAS Glenco, Georgia. He was then selected for A-6 Intruder Bombardier/Navigator (B/N) training at NAS Sanford, Florida, followed by A-6A replacement crew training at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, before deploying to South Vietnam in March 1968. Lt Brown served as an A-6A B/N with VMA(AW)-533 of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing at Chu Lai, South Vietnam, from March 1968 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam while flying his 104th combat mission on July 25, 1968. He managed to evade capture until July 26th, when he was taken as a Prisoner of War, while his pilot was retrieved by a rescue helicopter. After spending 1,693 days in captivity, Capt Brown was released during Operation Homecoming on March 14, 1973. His next assignment was for flight training at NAS Pensacola, Florida, in the T-34 Mentor, and then to advanced jet training in the T-2C Buckeye and TA-4J Skyhawk at NAS Beeville, Texas, where he was designated a Naval Aviator in February 1975. Maj Brown then served as a KC-130 Hercules pilot and instructor pilot, Supply Officer, Administrative Officer, and then Operations Officer of VMGR-352 of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at MCAS El Toro, California, from February 1975 to October 1978, and during this time he was designated the Refueling Area Commander for Trans Pacific movement of fighter aircraft from the Continental United States (CONUS) to Japan, and then as Director of the KC-130F/R flight simulator at MCAS El Toro. After serving as the Executive Officer/Operations Officer for a Combined Arms Exercise at the Marine Corps Combined Arms Combat Training Center (MCCACTC) at 29 Palms, California, he was selected as the Officer in Charge of the Expeditionary Airfield at MCCACTC from October 1978 to June 1980. LTC Brown served as Director of Safety and Standardization with Marine Air Group 13 at MCAS El Toro from June 1980 to September 1982, and then as Director of Safety and Standardization for the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at El Toro from September 1982 to August 1984. His final assignment was as Commanding Officer of Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 3, with over 1,300 Marine Corps personnel, from August 1984 until his retirement from the Marine Corps on June 1, 1986.
His 2nd Air Medal Citation reads:
For heroic achievement in aerial flight while serving with Marine All Weather Attack Squadron 533, Marine Aircraft Group Twelve, First Marine Aircraft Wing in connection with operations against the enemy on 7 June 1968. First Lieutenant BROWN was Bombardier/Navigator of an A-6 Intruder aircraft assigned a road reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. Upon approaching the designated area, the pilot was informed by the air controller that radar signals from a surface to air missile site had been detected and was requested to conduct a radar reconnaissance to locate the hostile emplacement. Skillfully employing his sophisticated search radar, First Lieutenant BROWN rapidly navigated his pilot to the suspected location. Alertly observing hostile radar activity, he immediately activated his aircraft's electronic countermeasures equipment. Unable to determine whether the activity was from antiaircraft fire control or missile acquisition radar, he unhesitatingly continued his precision search, but was unsuccessful in pinpointing the missile site. Reverting to the original mission, he commenced searching for enemy vehicular activity and ably computed precise bomb release data that enabled his pilot to effectively execute six bombing attacks on moving targets. During five of the bombing runs, only sporadic antiaircraft fire was received, however on the last attack, the Intruder came under intense hostile ground fire. Undaunted by the enemy fire, First Lieutenant BROWN provided his pilot with accurate information that enabled him to deliver his ordnance with pinpoint accuracy, causing a large secondary explosion. First Lieutenant BROWNS's courage, superb aeronautical ability and steadfast devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger contributed significantly to the accomplishment of the hazardous mission and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.