William Robert “Bill” Brown of Gallatin, TN, with his beloved Peggy by his side, passed peacefully on January 14, 2017, in Delray Beach, FL. He was 94. He was born in Clarksville, TN, on May 5, 1922, to Irl and Ruby (Winn) Brown.
After graduating from high school at 16 he studied theory of flight, navigation, and astronomy courses at Austin Peay College. He enlisted in the Army Air Corp during WWII. As a cadet, he was deferred to do defense work at Glenn L. Martin, Baltimore, MD, and Vultee in Nashville. He was in the Field Service & Experimental Department that modified and built the proto-type B-25 which flew off the carrier Hornet to bomb Tokyo, the famous Doolittle Raid. He was stationed on Tinian Island in the Pacific, where he flew 20 combat missions in B-29s. He was awarded The Distinguished Flying Cross three times: two for bombing runs over Tokyo and one for Osaka. His service was a lifelong source of pride.
Following WWII he returned to Nashville to begin a career as a manufactures’ representative, which he continued until the age of 85. He and Peggy have resided in Gallatin, TN, on Old Hickory Lake for the past 43 years. They maintained a winter home in Delray Beach, FL. He was a 60-year member of the Jere Baxter Masonic Lodge and a 50-year member of the Al Menah Shrine Temple. He was a member of the Rehoboth Methodist Church in Gallatin.
He is survived by his wife of 72 years Peggy (Strickland) Brown, daughter Diane (Jon) Chellgren, grandchildren David (Kathryn) Chellgren, Brian (Veronique) Chellgren, Valerie (Matt Ryan) Skelton, Matthew Skelton. He has six great grandchildren Jacob Ryan, Abigail Chellgren, Daniel Chellgren, Lauren Chellgren, Eric Chellgren, John Chellgren. He is predeceased by his daughter Pamela (Mike) Skelton.
Visitation will be at Hendersonville Funeral Home on Tuesday, January 24, from 5 PM-8 PM. A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be at the Funeral Home on Wednesday, January 25, at 11 AM.