The Quintessential Helium Head

Paul Rendall (Ren) Brown

October 11, 1925 – February 5, 2016

Paul Rendall Brown was born in Akron. He grew up in Goodyear Heights and graduated from Akron’s East High School. And as could be expected, living in Akron, he developed a fascination for aviation, which evolved into a love for lighter-than-air flight.

At age 9 Ren joined the Goodyear Heights Baptist Church sponsored Cub Scouts. He joined the Goodyear Troop # 42 of the Boy Scouts when he was 12, and over the next 24 months he earned the 21 merit badges required to become an Eagle Scout. There he met many Goodyear employees, including P. W. Litchfield, who at the time was president of Goodyear.

P. W. Litchfield was very aviation minded and in June of 1942 he formed the First Air Scout Squadron of the Boy Scouts of America. Ren was one of the Air Scouts at the Ceremony of installation of the squadron. Shortly thereafter, the Air Squadron visited Goodyear’s Wingfoot Lake Blimp Base. On that occasion Ren got to fly in a blimp for the first time.

After graduating from Akron’s East High School, Ren was hired by Goodyear as an apprentice mechanic at Wingfoot Lake. He worked on final assembly of G, K. L and M blimps before enlisting in the Navy.

In early 1947 he went back to work for Goodyear Aircraft Corp., later Goodyear Aerospace, for 25 years. These were followed by 15 years with Goodyear Industrial Products and Automotive and Industrial Airsprings. He retired in 1987.

While at Goodyear Aircraft and Aerospace Ren’s career included a variety of assignments in many facets of L-T-A: design, engineering, operations and administration. He earned his Commercial LTA Pilot License in 1955. He was also an instructor for gas-filled balloon pilots.

Ren was a Charter Member and a Lifetime Member of The Lighter-Than-Air Society; he was a Trustee and held the posts of Treasurer, Secretary and Chairman throughout the years.

He was also a Lifetime Member of the Naval Airship Association and an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Navy Lakehurst Historical Society.

Up Ship, Ren!