David Atkins Brough

David Atkins Brough (1914-1942)

United States Naval Aviator, World War II

USS Brough warship (1943-1965) was named after him

Historical Information about David Atkins Brough

Biography of Lieutenant (Junior Grade) David Atkins Brough, USNR (Deceased)

The following information was provided to the Brough Family Organization by Linda Bell in 2013 and by Louis Brough Dorny (Commander, US Navy, Retired) in 2015:

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, USNR.

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 David’s 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 Naval Service."

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 Campaign Medal.

The 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 Brough’s 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 websites:

Navsource Online: Destroyer Escort Photo Archive

Navsource Online: History Page

Naval History and Heritage Command

The Dictionary 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."

Wikipedia) 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 1914–1942), 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, Perthshire, Scotland

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, Perthshire, Scotland

James Brough, chr.1694, Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland

Married: Anne Craigan, 1726, Saint Madoes, Perthshire, Scotland

Charles Brough, chr.1745, Saint Madoes, Perthshire, Scotland

Married: Janet Barnet, 1772, Errol, Perthshire, Scotland

Charles Brough, b.1781, Saint Madoes, Perthshire, Scotland

Married: Helen Chalmers, 1806, Kinnoull, Perthshire, Scotland

Alexander Brough, b.1813, Saint Madoes, Perthshire, Scotland

Married: Helen Jackson, 1843, Saint Madoes, Perthshire, Scotland

James Brough, b.1847, Ferryfield, Abernethy, Perthshire, Scotland

Married: Janet Aitken, abt.1874, United States

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.

2015 International Brough Reunion honored David Atkins Brough