Veterans Day

I greatly appreciate all of the ‘Thank Yous’ I received.  You all are the Best!  What I can’t figure out is why I’m the only one on my street to fly my flag!!  And I know there are Veterans living here.  I actually confronted a few of them and got excuses like, ‘My flag is tattered’ or ‘My pole broke’!!  What???  There’s a WalMart 3 blocks away!  I don’t get it!  Rant over!!
I read this in the Orange County Register today and I thought I would share:

Three wars and a lot of history for this Marine

A retired Marine pilot will share his experiences with Marines at Camp Pendleton on Wednesday.


MISSION VIEJO – Ask C. E. "Snuffy" Brown about his days as a Marine pilot and he’ll deliver a story with a punch of humor and wit.

It’s part of his shtick as he prepares to deliver a speech to 800 Marines with the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton’s annual Marine Corps 233rd Birthday Ball on Wednesday.

After serving 24 years, Brown retired from the Marine Corps as a Major.

"You might say it was thrilling," said Brown. "It was a great life when they weren’t shooting at you," he said with a smile.

He piloted planes during WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. In aviation, he says, it breaks down to a simple theorem: Takeoffs are optional, landings are mandatory. And sometimes "you land without your airplane."

At 85, it’s the politics and jokes that he recounts as he combs through memories from his Mission Viejo home, scratching at his arms, which he explains is a condition that was caused by Agent Orange, the defoliant used by the military in the jungles of Vietnam.


Brown classifies WWII as the second rebellion. He was stationed at bases in the U.S. and was sent to Luzon, Philippines. He piloted Dive Bombers on missions he called milk runs.

"You went to the target, bombed, and came home. It was another day on the farm," he said. The attitude was much different than fighting in Korea and Vietnam. "We were teenagers. We were indestructible; no one could kill us."

"Everyone was patriotic in WWII. Everyone wanted revenge on the Japanese." He can recall the message was everywhere – propagated by Hollywood. He remembers Clark Gable and Jimmy Stewart going to war.

The Korean War was different – he calls it a police action. Brown, stationed at Buson and Kangnung, piloted a F7F-3N Tigercat armed with rockets, napalm, and canons. He flew 100 night missions – flying 20 feet above the ground aiming for enemy trucks on the three main roads out of China. It was such a small plane that he could reach out and touch the guns with his hands.

In Korea he remembers "death was all around and you had more responsibility because you were up the ladder more."

The Vietnam War he calls Johnson’s folly. "All of us were disgusted by the politics; however, in the military you can’t say anything against the commander-in-chief."

In Vietnam, he was stationed at Danang for a year, shuttling generals across the Pacific Rim.


When it’s time to talk about the tough stuff he leans forward from his recliner and sets his chin against the back of his cane.

"You try to remember the funny things and forget the ones when someone doesn’t come home," he said.

He doesn’t share much. The numbers say it: When he graduated from flight school in 1944 there were 1,000 cadets in his graduating class. By 1954, he was 1 of 4 surviving members.

"It wasn’t my time," he said.


Brown retired in 1965 after receiving a request. He remembers it vividly. He was sitting at Danang writing orders when the mail clerk had dropped a letter on his desk. His sons had written him a letter asking if they could graduate with their friends at Foothill High School in Tustin. "I said, ‘You bet.’" They had been to a total of eleven schools.

When he finally retired, he became a flight school instructor for Douglas Aircraft. He taught airline pilots how to fly the DC-8, DC-9, DC-10 and C-17 which are still flying today.

Brown was married for more than 56 years. He remembers his wife, Elaine, as the hero of the family – raising their two sons.

"She was the supply sergeant, the paymaster sergeant, the sergeant major, the executive officer, and the commanding office of the Brown household," he said. She died four years ago.

In their home he proudly displays two model airplanes he flew in the war and he has pinned his medals onto a formal jacket. He is most proud of the Distinguished Flying Cross medal.

Now, Brown is part of Casta del Sol Marine Club, a volunteer organization, in a Mission Viejo retirement community that holds fundraisers and provides other supportive services to the city’s adopted Marines.

He lives by the motto: "Once a Marine, always a Marine."


WOW!!!!  What a guy!!

About Carroll "Snuffy" Brown

Age: 85

Residence: Mission Viejo

Birthplace: Dallas – Fort Worth, Texas

Family: Wife, Elaine, deceased; sons Brian and Scott; 5 grandchildren; and 3 great grandchildren

PS  Has anyone heard about ‘Black Thursday’ during WWII??  We sent 110 B-17 bombers into Germany for a daylight bombing run without escort (Our fighters could not carry enough fuel to get back).  Of the 110 B-17’s, 65 were destroyed and over 600 airmen died.  The Germans had 1,100 fighters in the air.  Soon after, the P-17 Mustang went into service with a far greater range and that soon ended.  (Sorry… Watching History Channel!!)  Yeah, yeah, I know…..  I’ve been watching the History Channel Veterans Day marathon all day!!

I had a really good song to play today but it’s protected, so I’ll leave this one up.  It’s a good one too.

I hope you all had a good day and if you had the day off, You’re welcome!!  LOL!



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12 Responses to Veterans Day

  1. Jaysey says:

    We didn’t have the day off, but we did take time off to remember veterans. 😉

  2. ♥ Aimee says:

    they say that the best way to make a statement is to wash the flag that you have…flying it tattered or not it is still being flown…the more tattered the better….it shows how long you have been proud…
    ♥~♥ :oD because you shared a smile…someone’s day got brighter… :oD ♥~♥

  3. renay says:

    my dad is a vertan he was in the war at pearl habor. he was in the marines. so we remebeer everday and my uncle was in the vitanam war.

  4. Beth says:

    I salute all veterans today and especially you Bob!!  We were told to hug a vet today.  If you were close by I would give you a hug!!

  5. Fizz says:

    You are my Hero. You paid the heaviest price of all our veterans. Hanaway Jan saw to that. I have shed tears for you for the treatment you received.
    Thank you for the price you paid and the service you gave.

  6. Fizz says:

    PS There is NOTHING more beautiful, to my eyes, than a tattered American flag. It’s the epitome of freedom.

  7. Grandma's says:

    I hugged a few vets today but I will just have to send you a "Cyber Hug" and a Big Thank You!!

  8. Fizz says:

    YES YOU ARE!!!! You are too a hero! You came out, you survived and you haven’t ax murdered anyone that I know of… so there! ;-D

  9. Sue says:

    Belated thanks to you, Bob for your service!  Great article!  I love talking with the old WWII vets.  They have some great stories to tell!  Thanks to all you vets out there!

  10. Cindy says:


  11. Setterspirit says:

    Hi Bob!  I haven’t been reading other blogs for awhile and decided to stop in.  Boy am I glad I did.  Happy Verteran’s Day and "Thank You" for serving our country.   Military has a special place in my heart.  My Dad was an ex-POW in a German prison camp during WW II.  The Russians helped him escape.  At 87 my Dad is still alive (but in poor health).  My husband served 20 years in the military and my youngest son served 6 years (he’s been to Iraq).
    Yes … military has a special place in my heart.  ((((Bob))))

  12. -Grumps- says:

    Shizz Bang!!
    What a treat it would be ta sit in, ‘n listen ta some the tales this Snuffy fella could recite.
    It surprises me somewhat that WWII wasn’t broken down into two separate battles. Seems to me there could be WWII(a) in reference to the war in Germany (in which Canada played a very large part), and WWII(b) in reference to the war with Japan from the time on of Pearl Harbour. I know they was one trailin right along with ta other, perhaps overlapping a bit, but still it seems to be as two separate encounters. I’ve just never really understood the connection betwixed the two.
    I doff my hat to you Sir.

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