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Drown served in Southeast Asia, Germany and Portugal

MADISON – A Tampa, Fla. native, Chuck Drown joined the U.S. Air Force in January 1962. He served until March 1984, when he retired as a Master Sergeant.

“My Basic Training was at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas,” Drown said. “Technical Training was at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Miss. I was trained in radio communications, including Morse code, High Frequency, HF, VHF, UHF and satellite communications.”

From 1962-1965, he deployed to Wiesbaden AB, Germany and returned to Gila Bend Air Station, Arizona. Drown then completed Survival School at Stead AFB in Reno, Nev.

Drown served in Southeast Asia during 1965 and 1966. He was stationed at Saigon, Vietnam; Nakhon Phanom, Thailand with Operation Cricket; Pleiku Air Base, Vietnam; and Qui Nhon, Vietnam.

“In Vietnam, I worked with Forward Air Controllers (in) directed air strikes in support of ground troops, against enemy military, structures and storage of war supplies and equipment,” he said.

His next assignments were Sembach Air Base and Ramstein AFB, both in Germany. Drown then reported to Westover AFB, Chicopee Falls, Mass; Anderson AFB, Guam; and Columbus AFB, Columbus, Miss. “In Germany, I was in Air Commandos (now Special Operations Squadron) that assisted training the 5th Green Berets and NATO country’s military,” he said. 

In 1973, Drown returned overseas to Koo-Ni Range and Osan Air Base in Korea. He then was assigned to Ellsworth AFB, Rapid City, S.D. and Clark AFB, Luzon Island, Philippines.

Drown’s last service sites included MacDill AFB, Tampa, Fla.; Lajes Air Field, Azores, Portugal; and Carswell AFB, Fort Worth, Texas. He retired in 1984.

His honors include Air Force Commendation and Good Conduct awards, with two and five oak-leaf clusters, respectively; Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal; AF Longevity Service Ribbon (with four dev.); National Defense Service Ribbon; Vietnam Service Medal; AF Outstanding Unit Award (with two dev.); United Nations Medal; and Overseas Long Tour Ribbon (with four olc).

The Drowns moved to Huntsville in June 2011 because wife Lori works on Redstone Arsenal as Budget and Management Analyst for AMC. He studied at Roane State Community College, Austin Peay Clarksville and New Mexico State University to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

The Drowns have three daughters: a business owner in Florida; a financial analyst, Washington D.C.; and stay-at-home mom, Madison.

He is a member of Forever Young Senior Veterans; Madison American Legion, Post 229; Veterans of Foreign Wars; and Vietnam Veterans of America.

His hobbies are fishing, reading, cooking and “an unpaid babysitter and taxi service driver.”

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