Jesse L. Brown and Thomas J. Hudner Jr.

Friendship that race could not divide

“A man will reveal his character through his actions, not his skin color”-Thomas Hudner

Jesse L. Brown was shot down in his F4U Corsair near the Jangjin Reservoir in Korea. Wounded and trapped in his aircraft, he waved to his wingman Thomas J. Hudner Jr. who was circling the downed aircraft frantically looking for signs of life from his friend.

Jesse struggled to free himself from the doomed aircraft when he looked up to see his friend Thomas deliberately crash landing his own plane nearby. Thomas had chosen to put his own life in mortal danger just to help his friend. Thomas, wounded from his crash landing, struggled over to his friend’s plane and attempted to free him. He was unsuccessful and Jesse died from his injuries.

A helicopter was eventually sent to pick up Thomas but due to battlefield conditions, his friend Jessie was never recovered.

Thomas J. Hudner Jr. was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Korea. He is often considered an early leader in the Civil Rights movement due to his continuing friendship with the family of Jesse and his actions towards his friend.

It takes valor to stand up for what is right and risk your life.

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