Roland Merritt Brown, Sr.
November 2, 1923 – January 4, 2004
477th Bomber Group
Roland Merritt Brown, Sr. was a Tuskegee Airman and veteran of World War II serving as a Bombardier-Navigator in the 477th Bomber Group while achieving the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. He retired from the Air Force Reserves with the rank of Major.
Roland Merritt Brown, Sr., was born 2 November 1923 in Morristown, NJ, the first son of Ruth Matilda Steele Brown and Dewey (Arron) Brown, Sr. He died Sunday, 4 January 2004 at Watchung Ridge Assisted Living, Watchung, NJ. Mr. Brown, who grew up in Morristown and Newton, NJ, later lived in Monmouth County, NJ, retired to Palm Coast, FL, in 1981, and returned to New Jersey in 2000. Roland married Mary Lily Davis of Summit, NJ, in 1945, and from this union two children were born Roland Jr. and Gloria Jeanne. Mr. Brown served as a professional engineer with the United States Army Electronic Command at Fort Monmouth, NJ for 30 years while advancing through upper levels of the organization during the major part of his professional career. He was a Tuskegee Airman and veteran of World War II serving as a Bombardier-Navigator in the 477th Bomber Group while achieving the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. He retired from the Air Force Reserves with the rank of Major.
Mr. Brown was introduced to golf at a young age by his father, Dewey Brown Sr. (the first known African-American PGA member). Roland Brown Sr. became an avid amateur golfer winning many tournaments. He befriended and played with internationally known golfers such as Charlie Sifford, Teddy Rhodes and Lee Elder. Among the long list of courses he and his friends challenged was the picturesque Cedar River Golf Course (then owned by Dewey Brown Sr.) in Indian Lake, NY.
On June 25, 2011, Dr. Roland M. Brown, Jr. donated his father’s Congressional Gold Medal to the Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake in Blue Mountain Lake. His father was awarded the medal of honor for his service during WWII. But, this family’s ties to the Adirondack Park didn’t just start with a medal dedication, it actually started with a legendary African-American golfer in the 1900’s.
Visit the Red Tail Virtual Museum to learn about Dewey Brown, Sr. the first known African-American to be elected as member of the PGA and the Cedar River Golf Course.
Toy Brown III
Higgins Funeral Home