John (Jack) M. Brown served in the United States Army during the Korean conflict. He rose to Sargent which in service and was the recipient of many medals for his dedicated service to the country.
After leaving the service he joined his father’s business as a truck driver hauling fruit and vegetables from the Philadelphia food distribution, then known as Dock Street.
He started flying Piper J-3 amphibious float planes on the Delaware River in Philadelphia many years ago when such activity was permitted. This was his hobby and passion which soon led him to purchasing a Republic Seabee which he flew from the Philadelphia Seaplane Base in Essington, PA.
Jack was already a very successful business man along the Philadelphia waterfront. He founded the Penn Warehousing and Distribution Company, Inc. where he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors until his retirement. His Company became known as the largest rolled paper distribution center in the Northeast United States.
Jack’s love for aviation soon turned to flying rotorcraft as he added this rating to his license. He purchased a Bell 206B which he used to entertain his foreign clients visiting this country. Helicopters found their way into his heart, so Jack established Sterling Helicopter at Pier 36 along the Delaware River which became known to this day as Penn’s Landing Heliport (P72). Jack sat on the Board of Directors of Penn’s Landing Corporation, a quasi-governmental agency for the City of Philadelphia. A new terminal and office building was erected at P72 which survives today as the only dedicated, public use heliport in the City of Philadelphia.
Jack’s vision of a full service private heliport continued to grow which soon took him to establishing an FAA Part 145 helicopter repair station at P72. As the Company grew, Jack constructed a 25,000 square foot helicopter maintenance center and private heliport on 13 acres of ground in Croydon, PA., which is just north of the Philadelphia city line.
His business has flourished under his careful guidance and now is adding an additional 15,000 square feet of hangar space to accommodate the growth of the helicopter maintenance center and private heliport. From a struggling Teamster truck driver to a successful entrepreneur, Jack Brown has well established himself as a successful and prudent businessman.