Leyte arrived at the Sasebo Base for U. Fleet Activities in Sasebo, Japan on 8 October 1950 and made final preparations for combat operations. Her pilots accumulated 11,000 hours in the air while inflicting massive damage upon enemy positions, supplies, transportation, and communications. Among the squadrons based on Leyte were the VF-32 Swordsmen, flying the F4U Corsair. This squadron included the first African-American Naval Aviator, Ensign Jesse LeRoy Brown who was killed in action on 4 December 1950.
ENS Brown entered the naval service as an aviation cadet in July 1946, and was sent to a selective flight training at NAS Glenview Illinois. He completed basic training at Pensacola Florida in June 1948 and was sent to Jacksonville for his advanced training. Upon graduating and receiving his wings in October 1948 ENS Brown became the first Negro Naval Aviator to be so designated.ENS Brown was commissioned shortly after being ordered to duty with Fighter Squadron Thirty-two aboard the USS Leyte. On October 13, 1950 he became the first Negro Naval pilot to fly a combat mission against an enemy of the United States when he flew his Corsair fire in a strike on enemy supply Lanes from Wonsan to Chongjin on the east coast of Korea. ENS Brown was killed in action, while rendering close support to U. Marines trapped at Chosin Reservoir, on December 4, 1950 when his plane was shot down by enemy fire.
A shipmate, LTJG Thomas J. Hunder, who later received the Medal of Honor, crash landed his plane alongside ENS Browns and try to rescue him but his attempts proved futile and ENS Brown died, the first Negro Naval Aviator to give his life for his country. 1 of 7 Navy Medals of Honor from Korean War.The item "USS Leyte CV32 1950 1951 Korean War Cruisebook Jesse Brown Hunder Medal of Honor" is in sale since Tuesday, January 03, 2017. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Militaria\Korea (1950-53)\Original Period Items". The seller is "ravensdenbooks02" and is located in Ravenden Springs, Arkansas. This item can be shipped to United States.