Ken Brown was ten years younger than his only other sibling and grew up in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, somewhat like an only child. His father, William, stands at the far left and his mother, Pearl, is in the middle. (credit: Brown Family)
Ken Brown’s boyhood home at 650 Highview Ave. in Glen Ellyn, Illinois has been razed to make way for a more commodious, upscale dwelling. (credit: Brown Family)
He drove two cars as a teen, one a ’36 Ford convertible and ’32 Ford V8 coupe. Here is the coupe, parked outside his boyhood home in Glen Ellyn. About the coupe, he said, “I had it about a year, and then Dad got me a ’36 Ford convertible coupe. That was it. I was a terror.” (credit: Brown Family)
Like father, like son. Ken’s father, William G. Brown, was a typewriter salesman who worked accounts all over Chicago. “If he thought you needed a typewriter, by golly, you were going to own a typewriter,” Ken said. (credit: Brown Family)
Ken, like his father, was a kid ahead of his time, indulging in a series of selfies, in a photo booth, presumably in his hometown. (credit: Brown Family)
With graduation from high school in 1938, Ken was off to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, not that he had any great ambition for a career in the Navy. His father did. “I knew my dad’s ambition, and I was going along for the ride to the Academy,” Ken said. (credit: Brown Family)
On the one training cruise he had as a midshipman, Ken didn’t feel the need to project an image of a naval officer “as grim as his guns.” (credit: Brown Family)
This portrait of Ken was taken around the time of his service on the Plunkett. (credit: Brown Family)
With more than a decade of seasoning as an officer, and after getting command of his first vessel -- a destroyer escort -- right after the war, Ken took command of a Fletcher-class destroyer, USS Cassin Young (DD-793), which is today a museum ship in Boston. (credit: Brown Family)
During their first date in 1944, Anne Welte told Ken the first date would be the last if he were to light another cigarette. He didn’t. Their marriage lasted 73 years. (credit: Kerry Haygood)
Ken’s “yen for kidding” and his indulgence in a good meal persisted into his tenth decade. After Anne died, he wondered whether it might be time for him to go back to Italy for a visit. (credit: Kerry Haygood)
Click one of these links
The content in this video reveals what happens in UNSINKABLE.
The content in these pages reveals what happens in UNSINKABLE.