Wesley Anthony Brown entered the Naval Academy in 1945, precisely 100 years after the school was founded. During that century, five African Americans had become midshipmen, only to be driven out before they could graduate. Brown persevered to become, in June 1949, the first black Annapolis graduate. He then served the next 20 years in the Navy's Civil Engineer Corps.
Several years ago, Commander Brown consented to participate in a Naval Institute oral history, recording his life story in his own words. Editorial work on the project—transcribing, proofreading, footnoting, and compiling an annotated index—has finally been completed.
The Naval Institute thanks Commander Brown for the hundreds of hours he donated to this project. In addition, we thank the following supporters for their assistance in underwriting the Brown oral history: