Last Known Activity
According to records, Vera Maude Brown was born in Birmingham, Alabama on November 21, 1921 (another source states November 10, 1921.) The US Census 1930 shows her parents were Winston H. and Arizona Boone. (Brown may have been adopted or fostered, a commonplace occurrence in those days.) She enlisted as a Captain on December 3, 1942 (one source states January 1, 1943.) as a Flight Nurse.
She was a veteran of World War II although no record of her service has been found.
Captain Vera M. Brown, assigned to the 801st Medical Air Evacuation Squadron, was a flight nurse aboard a C-54D Skymaster medical aircraft (#42-72457, assigned to the 6th Troop Carrier Squadron of the 374th Troop Carrier Wing based in Tachikawa AB, Japan) on an air evacuation flight on September 26, 1950. Shortly after the aircraft took-off from Ashiya AB, Japan, it failed in climb-out phase and crashed into the sea approximately 1.5km (0.9 miles) off Japan. Interestingly, this incident is not recorded in the KORWALD Report of Air Losses, although others of a similar nature are.
Available records indicated there was a crew of 8 and 43 passengers on board. Five of the crew perished; 18 of the other occupants died. There is an article in the Portland (OR?) Press Herald newspaper dated September 26, 1950 that is headlined "Nurse Saves 27 in Japan Plane Crash," although the article lists no specific details concerning this event. Supposedly the aircraft was carrying supplies and troops to Korea, with Captain Brown on board to assist in loading and caring for casualties on the return trip.
Although records indicate she was the only Air Force nurse killed in the Korean War, there were at least two others, 1LT Margaret Perry and 1LT Virginia McClure. (See profiles elsewhere on TWS)
Note: The Application for Headstone or Marker, OQGM Form 623, was completed by her mother, Arizona Boone on January 31, 1951. This card also has the contradictory dates listed in paragraph 1, above.
US Census 1930
Application for Headstone or Marker, OQGM Form 623, completed by mother.
Montgomery (AL) Advertiser newspaper, Jan 31, 1951
The 801st Medical Air Evacuation Squadron, in recognition of the outstanding tasks they performed in the early part of the war and following the Inchon landing, was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. More than 4,700 casualties were air-lifted to hospitals in less than three months.