Freedom Fighters: Gene Browning

Gene Browning survived 35 bombing missions over enemy territory in World War Two. His crew of ten was to fly in seven different B-17's that were so mangled by bullets and flak, they had to be scrapped. Browning was in one of the first bomber crews to hit the beach on D-Day.

After each mission, Browning would describe his experiences in a notebook. This became the basis for his book "Elmer's Tune". Browning's wife Melba helped him put his notes into book form. The book is named for a popular song of the forties "Elmer"s Tune". Elmer was also Browning's first name and the name of the plane's pilot. "Elmer's Tune" can be ordered from the Brownings at 770-500=2668 or from the publisher at

Gene Browning was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, as well as other medals. He says the the Fourth of July is a symbol of freedom, but remids us that "freedom is never free."

Joan Hallmark, Reporting