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Kenneth Brower

1919 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Kenneth Brower Obituary
Lt. Col. Kenneth Awtrey Brower, 96, departed this life Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Memorial service: 2 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at Western Hills United Methodist Church, Fort Worth, 76116. Kenneth A. Brower was born in Greenfield, Okla., in December of 1919. Working alongside his carpenter father, Kenneth built a house on his own at the age of 16. His dad had offered him a new car once the house was completed for a local pastor. In January 1938, Kenneth enlisted in the Oklahoma National Guard. After Pearl Harbor was attacked, the call went out by the Army Air Corps for aviation cadet applicants. Brower applied, took the test, and after being commissioned, he went to Hondo, completing navigator training in March 1943. Lt. Brower shipped out for the European Theater of Operations in August 1943, and began flying combat missions in January 1944. Brower recalls his first flight during D-Day as lead crew navigator in his B-26 Marauder. He watched the Battleship Texas firing their big guns and visually following the shells from ship to targets on the Normandy shoreline. On his 46th bombing night mission, July 8, 1944, a German fighter attacked, forcing the crew to parachute from their flaming aircraft. With the aid of the French Underground in the village of Bettencourt-Saint-Quen, he hid for three months until liberated by the English. He served in the Reserve until recalled to active duty in 1951. He flew 29 combat missions from Japan and Okinawa into North Korea. Returning to the U.S. he elected to remain on active duty in the United States Air Force. He served in the Strategic Air Command during the Cold War flying nuclear training missions in the B-58 Hustler from Carswell AFB here, Amarillo AFB, and Bunker Hill AFB, Ind. In 1967 he went to Southeast Asia, flying combat missions from U-Tapao AFB, Thailand, into Vietnam. "For Exceptional Contributions to the Liberation of France during WWII," Kenneth was bestowed the rank of Knight of the French Legion of Honor (highest medal awarded to a foreign military) presented by the French Embassy in a ceremony at Naval Air Station Fort Worth in 2013. His other medals include the Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Air Medal with eight clusters. After his retirement as commander of the troops at the Amarillo AFB in 1968, he returned to Fort Worth and to his first love as a carpenter. He was also active in the community with neighbors, veteran friends and family. He married Jeane Wilmoth and had three sons. After their divorce, he married JoAnn Lett, the mother of Tim. Survivors: Kenneth is survived by his sons, Thomas Brower and wife, Marilyn, Charles Brower and wife, Judy, Kenneth Brower and wife, Vicky, and Tim Lett and wife, Nancy; 10 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
Published in Star-Telegram from Apr. 21 to Apr. 22, 2016
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