Campbell County native and war hero Bo Brown played an integral role in bringing future senator and presidential candidate John McCain and his fellow American prisoners home from a Viet-Nam prison camp.
While on a bombing mission over Hanoi in 1967, Naval Aviator McCain was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He remained a prisoner of war until 1973.
TOP PHOTO: Clarence Lowe (L) is pictured with McCain in 1995 at Gatlinburg.
Clarence Lowe also met with McCain in 1994 at the Christmas Tree Inn Restaurant, now the Holiday Inn Express, at Caryville. The senator was campaigning for Van Hillery when he was first elected to the House of Representatives .
While at Caryville, McCain was introduced by Gen. Carl Stiner to Bo Brown. On that very emotional evening, Stiner revealed to McCain and Brown publicly for the first time the story of Brown’s secret mission during the Viet-Nam conflict.
It was a covert mission that would ultimately contribute to the country’s political landscape. In the early 1970s the only details provided to Brown, who was the pilot for the mission, were the coordinates for his flight and that he was to fly a dignitary to North Viet-Nam drop him off and then return for him.
The person Brown flew was Admiral John McCain, McCain’s father. The Admiral was there to begin talks for the release of all American prisoners, one of which was his son, who would later serve the state of Arizona as a multi- term senator and also make a bid for the White House.
“The introduction was a very touching and emotional moment,” Lowe said remembering the night that a slice of American history was revealed.
Ulyess “Bo” Brown died at the age of 83 in 2011 after a 26-year career in the US Army. He was laid to rest at Bakers Forge Cemetery.
McCain died last weekend just days before what would have been his 82nd birthday. He will be laid to rest Saturday at the US Naval Academy. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 08/31/2018-6AM)