Naval Aviator, World War II
warship (1943-1965) was named after him
Historical Information about David Atkins Brough
Biography of Lieutenant (Junior Grade) David Atkins Brough, USNR
The following information was provided to the Brough Family Organization
by Linda Bell in 2013 and by Louis Brough Dorny (Commander, US Navy, Retired)
David Atkins Brough was born at Pueblo,
Colorado, on 15 June 1914. He attended local public high schools before
going to the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado, where he graduated
with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering in 1938.
Following work as a civil engineer with
the Colorado State Highway Department and the Colorado Fuel and Iron Corporation,
Brough enlisted at Denver, Colorado, on 10 July 1939 as a Seaman Second
Class in the U.S. Naval Reserve. Five days later he reported to the Naval
Reserve Aviation Base, Oakland, California, for Elimination Flight Training.
After passing the tests, Brough was honorably discharged as an enlisted
man on 24 October 1939 and the following day appointed an Aviation Cadet,
David Brough completed eight months of intensive
flight training at Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, was appointed
Naval Aviator (Heavier than Air) No. 6602 on 30 July 1940, commissioned
Ensign, USNR, and ordered to Patrol Squadron 42 (VP 42) at NAS Seattle,
Washington. The squadron was then flying large Consolidated PBY-5 flying
boats on over ocean patrol and anti-submarine work. He quickly completed
check-out as a Patrol Plane Commander (PPC) on 12 December, a major professional
qualification for naval aviators.
Leading up to and after the Japanese attack
on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 VP 42 extended their reach from Seattle
to patrol Alaskan waters, basing at Sitka, Kodiak, and Dutch Harbor, and
rotating duties with sister squadron VP 41 on long patrols along the Alaskan
coast. They received brand new PBY-5A amphibian flying boats in February,
many of which received the new ASD-1 radar equipment in March. By May
they were flying from Dutch Harbor out in the Aleutians, encountering
atrocious flying weather in turbulent winds and near-continuous fog. As
part of the big Battle of Midway in early June the Japanese landed troops
on the islands of Attu and Kiska far out in the Aleutian chain 700 miles
west of Dutch Harbor. Admiral Nimitz at Pearl Harbor ordered Army and
Navy planes in Alaska to bomb the enemy out of Kiska! VP 42
deployed forward to base on seaplane tender Gillis in Nazan Bay, Atka
Island, halfway to the target, and during what became known as the Kiska
Blitz VP 42 together with other Navy PBYs and Army bombers attacked
enemy shipping and shore facilities at Kiska in nearly round-the-clock
operations. The long strike missions coupled with continuing patrols to
scout enemy activities and fleet movements, meant lengthy, exhausting
flights in extreme cold, while low visibility and high wind conditions
made precise navigation very demanding. Ensign Brough was promoted to
Lieutenant (junior grade) Brough on 28 May, but the pressures of intense
operations against a strong enemy and the extraordinarily dangerous weather
conditions did not ease up. For his outstanding leadership on several
bombing strikes and superior flying skill he was recommended for the Air
Medal. Recovering in severe wind and sea conditions on 30 July at Nazan
Bay after a long patrol, however, his flying boat broke up on landing
in the rough water and crashed, killing the pilot and several crew members.
The award was subsequently presented to
Davids sister, Mrs. Jack Bell, the citation for which read: "For
meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight as a Patrol
Plane Commander in action with enemy Japanese forces during the Aleutian
Islands Campaign from June 10 to June 20, 1942. Flying under extremely
hazardous conditions of high winds, snow, rain and dense fog, Lieutenant
(junior grade) Brough engaged in dangerous scouting missions during the
enemy bombing of Dutch Harbor and Umnak, and in addition participated
in all-night aerial patrols and bombing attacks on Japanese ships in Kiska
Harbor in the face of concentrated air and anti-aircraft opposition. His
courageous and daring devotion to the accomplishment of these important
missions was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States
In the course of his service Lieutenant
(jg) Brough earned two personal awards, the Air Medal and the Distinguished
Flying Cross. In addition, he wore the American Defense Service Medal
with "Fleet" clasp, the American Campaign Medal, and the Asiatic-Pacific
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships states the following
about David Atkins Brough:
"Lieutenant Junior Grade David Atkins
Brough was born at Pueblo, Colorado, on 15 June 1914. He was appointed
as a Naval Aviation Cadet USNR in October 1939 and was appointed Ensign
USNR on 30 July 1940. At the beginning of World War II, Lieutenant Junior
Grade Brough, attached to Patrol Squadron 42, flew scouting missions along
the Alaskan Coast and participated in regular bombing raids on the Japanese
held islands of Attu and Kiska. During June 1942, Brough participated
in numerous bombing raids on Japanese shipping in Kiska Harbor, For this
action he was recommended for the Air Medal. However, before the Air Medal
could be presented to him he was killed in an airplane crash following
a scouting mission. The Air Medal was presented posthumously to Broughs
sister, Mrs. [Dorothy] Jack Bell, since both of the aviator's parents
were no longer living."
More information about the USS Brough can be found on the following three
Destroyer Escort Photo Archive
History and Heritage Command
of American Naval Fighting Ships states the following about the
USS Brough warship:
"[The warship USS] Brough was built
by the Consolidated Steel Corporation of Orange, Texas. Her keel was laid
on 22 January 1943 and she was launched on 10 April 1943. Mrs. Jack Bell,
sister of Lieutenant Junior Grade [David] Atkins Brough, a Naval Aviator,
served as sponsor. Brough was placed in full commission on 18 September
1943 at Orange, Texas under command of Lieutenant Commander Kenneth J.
Hartley of Jamestown, New York. After an intense shakedown period, Brough
was assigned the task of escorting allied shipping to European ports.
She spent two years escorting Allied shipping without the loss of a single
vessel during her twenty four Atlantic crossings, and made only five submarine
attacks with the presence of U-Boats unverified in each case... Brough
[was] decommissioned in June 1965 and was removed from the Navy List on
1 November 1965. The ship was sold for scrap to Buyer Boston Metals Co.
in Baltimore, Maryland in January 1967."
states the following about the USS Brough warship:
"[The] USS Brough (DE-148) was an Edsall
class destroyer escort, the first United States Navy ship so named. This
ship was named for Lieutenant Junior Grade David Atkins Brough (15 June
19141942), a Naval Aviator who was awarded the Air Medal posthumously
for his actions during the battles of Kiska and Attu."
Scottish Ancestors of David Atkins Brough
John Brugh, b.abt.1598, of South Kinkell, Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland
Married: abt.1619, of South Kinkell, Auchterarder,
David Brugh, b.abt.1620, of Trinity Gask, Perthshire, Scotland
Married: Jeane Grahame, abt.1641, of Trinity
Gask, Perthshire, Scotland
John Brough, chr.1646, Trinity Gask, Perthshire, Scotland
Married: Janet Paterson, 1669, Auchterarder,
James Brough, chr.1694, Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland
Married: Anne Craigan, 1726, Saint Madoes,
Charles Brough, chr.1745, Saint Madoes, Perthshire, Scotland
Married: Janet Barnet, 1772, Errol, Perthshire,
Charles Brough, b.1781, Saint Madoes, Perthshire, Scotland
Married: Helen Chalmers, 1806, Kinnoull,
Alexander Brough, b.1813, Saint Madoes, Perthshire, Scotland
Married: Helen Jackson, 1843, Saint Madoes,
James Brough, b.1847, Ferryfield, Abernethy, Perthshire, Scotland
Married: Janet Aitken, abt.1874, United
David A. Brough, b.1881, St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Married: Berdie E. McGuire, 1913, Pueblo,
Colorado, United States
David Atkins Brough, b.1914, Pueblo, Colorado, United States
Died in 1942 in World War II. "USS
Brough" warship was named after David Atkins Brough.
Genealogical Sources about David Atkins Brough
The gravesite memorial of "David Aitkins
Brough" is located in Roselawn Cemetery, Pueblo, Colorado (Plot:
17-31-2) . According to information provided by cemetery officials to
researchers of the Brough Family Organization, "some remains"
of David A. Brough "were found" and eventually "buried"
on 2 October 1948 at Roselawn Cemetery in Pueblo, Colorado.
In the 1920 Census, "David Brough"
is listed as being 5 years old (born about 1915), born in Colorado, and
residing with his parents, David A. and Birdie Brough, and a sibling,
in Pueblo City, Colorado.
In the 1930 Census, "David A. Brough"
is listed as being 15 years old (born about 1915), born in Colorado, and
residing with his widowed mother, Berdie E. (Brough), and a sibling, in
Pueblo City, Colorado.
In the 1940 Census (which was taken on 2
April 1940), "David A. Brough" is listed as being 25 years old
(born about 1915), born in Colorado, "Single" and working as
a "Aviation Cadet" in the "U.S. Navy", and residing
at the "U.S. Naval Air Station and Naval Hospital" in Pleasant
Grove, Escambia Co., Florida.
"David Atkins Brough" is listed
in FamilySearch Tree, PIDI#: LZT3-64D.