Calvin Woodrow Brown

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  • "Just learned of the Colonels passing. He was a noteworthy..."
    - Stan Greil
  • "A top notch commander of the 1155 Technical Operations..."
    - Dale Klug
  • "Best commanding officer I have ever encountered during my..."
    - Steven McKee
  • "I didn't know him, but he had such an interesting life...."
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Colonel (Ret) Calvin Woodrow Brown, Age 93, passed away peacefully Tuesday morning, September 25, 2018. He was pre-deceased by his wife of 69 years, Alice, who passed away in 2016. Calvin was born in Newburyport, MA to Freeman and Ida Brown who were naturalized U.S. citizens originally from New Brunswick, Canada. He was the oldest brother of 3 siblings (deceased): Hazen, Shirley, and June. After graduation from Newburyport High School, Calvin was inducted into the Army Air Corps in May 1943, trained as a pilot, advanced pilot, and instructor pilot, and then trained new pilots for the WWII effort. During this two and one half year timeframe, Lieutenant Calvin Brown flew a total of about 1000 flying hours in the Fairchild PT-19, the BT-13 "Vultee Vibrator," and the AT-6 "Texan." He was discharged in late November 1945 after graduating a new class of pilots, 2 months after WWII ended. For the next 2 years, he attended Bates College in Maine, married Alice, and then accepted an invitation from the newly formed U.S. Air Force to re-enter military service. Calvin entered the Communications-Electronics field of the U.S. Air Force in February 1947. During his tour of duty in Germany from 1949- 1951, he flew in support of the Berlin Airlift, flying primarily the C-47 "Skytrain;" also the C-54 "Skymaster." In 1952, under Operation Bootstrap, Calvin graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S. degree and later in his career earned 66 credit hours in Electrical Engineering. From 1954 1956, Calvin was assigned to the Electronic Defense Systems Division and assisted in the deployment of the SAGE System which became the backbone of the North American Air Defense response to a Soviet air attack; SAGE operated in this role from the 1950s into the 1980s. From 1956-1958, Calvin was Chief, Flight Test Officer at HQ Rome Air Force Depot, Griffiss AFB, NY where he flew a variety of aircraft including the C-47 "Skytrain," C-45 "Expeditor," T-33 "T-Bird," T-6 "Texan," F-80 "Shooting Star," and the B-26 "Invader." From May 1960 July 1976 (when he retired), Calvin was assigned to the Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC) which monitors nuclear treaty compliance to preserve our nation's security. Calvin excelled in AFTAC and was appointed commander at several of its key locations. Calvin and Alice were noted for their contributions to the morale of his units' personnel. Calvin was close to his troops, loved to tinker with cars, and loved playing golf, including with Alice, and enjoyed visiting his extended family. Calvin is survived by his three children Tom (wife Cathy), Dick (wife Terry) and Bob; seven grandchildren Rob (wife Bonnie), Del (wife Genevieve), Cindy (husband Dan), Christy (husband Kurt), Nick (wife Santina), Tony (wife Lauren), and Jeff; and twenty-one great-grandchildren. He loved and was loved by his friends and his extended family and will be greatly missed. In lieu of services, contributions can be made in his name to DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Charitable Service Trust (
Published in The Sacramento Bee on Sept. 29, 2018
bullet U.S. Air Force bullet World War II
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