Everett Allan Brown
Everett A. Brown was born in Boston, Massachusetts on 29 April 1918. He grew up in Needham, MA and like his father was a fireman. During the weeks that followed the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and after the United States declared war upon Japan and Germany, Everett Brown was selected by his local draft board for service in the United States Army.
On 7 February 1942, Everett Brown was inducted into the Army at Fort Devens Massachusetts. After induction, Pvt. Brown spent several days taking tests and undergoing evaluations to determine where he could best serve the in the Army. Private Brown was sent to infantry training at the Infantry Replacement Training Center at Camp Croft near Spartanburg, South Carolina. While at Camp Croft, Pvt. Brown received instruction in basic infantry skills as well as specialized training in heavy weapons. As part of his heavy weapons training Pvt. Brown trained on the M1917A1 Water Cooled Heavy Machine Gun with which he qualified expert on, on 4 April 1942.
During his training at Camp Croft, he volunteered for parachute duty which would earn him the parachutist badge and an additional $50 a month for accepting the hazards of parachute operations. After Pvt. Brown completed his initial infantry training he attended the parachute school at Fort Benning, Georgia. He successfully completed the parachutist course on 19 June 1942. His training certificate states that Pvt. Everett A. Brown, “satisfactory completed the prescribed course in parachute jumping form a plane in flight, and is therefore entitled to be rated from June19, 1942, a Qualified Parachutist.”
Following successful completion of parachute training, Pvt. Brown joined the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment at Fort Benning. Upon his arrival to the 502 P/I, Pvt. Brown was assigned as a machine gunner in 1st Platoon, A Company, 1st Battalion. On 15 August 1942, the 502 P/I joined the newly formed 101st Airborne Division. Pvt. Brown as part of Able Company, moved from Fort Benning to join the rest of the 101st at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. While at Fort Bragg, Pvt. Brown participated in numerous training exercises and practice jumps from Maxton and Pope Airfields.
On 4 September 1943 Pvt. Brown boarded the SS Stathnaver bound for England. This ill-fated journey resulted in a 16-day stop in St. Johns, Newfoundland for repairs to the ship and eventually transferring to the SS John Ericsson to complete the journey after the SS Stathnaver made two failed attempts to leave St. Johns. On 18 October, Pvt. Brown and the rest of the 502nd arrived in Liverpool, England. Once situated in Chilton-Foliat, Able Company continued intense training in preparation for the invasion of Europe.
Like most men in Able Company, Pfc. Brown boarded a C47 transport plane on the evening of 5 July 1944 destined to jump over the Normandy, France. Pfc. Brown’s plane was struck by anti-aircraft fire and lost an landed in a swamp separated from most of Able Company somewhere near St. Martine de Varreville, France. By the morning he had rejoined Able Company and participated in actions clearing St. Martine de Varreville as well as the battle for the village of Carentan on 10 and 11 June. For his actions Pfc. Brown was awarded a Bronze Star. The award certificate reads: “[…]for heroic achievement in action in …France… Private first Class Brown, with complete disregard for his personal safety, charged across open terrain exposed to enemy fire in order to bring flanking fire to bear on the enemy. After reaching a position from which he could effectively fire his weapon against the enemy, he expended all his ammunition in an attempt to repulse the attack. When he found that he could not be resupplied, he crawled over open terrain under continuous and intense enemy fire and secured ammunition from his fallen comrades. He then returned to his position, and again delivered effective fire on the enemy. Despite the danger involved, he moved to a new position and delivered flanking fire thereby confusing the enemy and helping to break up the counterattack. He displayed outstanding courage and initiative throughout the attack. His conduct was in accordance with the highest standards of the military service.”
Pfc. Brown received this Bronze Star medal after the two other medals he received later in WWII for his actions in Holland and Belgium.
After the attack on Carantan, Able Company moved to Cherbourg to conduct security duties. In late June, Pfc. Brown returned to England to refit with the rest of the 502nd. On 17 September 1944 Pfc. Brown jumped into Holland participating in his second parachute jump into combat. By 27 November the 502nd had been relived in Holland and relocated to France for recovery and refit. For his actions in Holland Pfc. Brown was awarded a second Bronze Star.
On 16 December 1944, a large German armored and mechanized force conducted a massive assault through American lines near Bastogne, Belgium. Cpl. Brown, now a LMG squad leader, and the men of Able Company raced to save the crumbing American lines. The 101st established a defensive perimeter around Bastogne to protect the critical road junctions within the city. Able Company was responsible for securing the town of Champs. On Christmas Day, the Germans attacked Champs in force which the Able Company and 1st Battalion troopers repelled. For his action on Christmas Day, Cpl. Brown was awarded his third Bronze Star. As described by the Able Company Commander Cpt. Wallace Swanson in a V-mail letter to Cpl. Brown’s parents:
“On that memorable day, Cpl. Brown had to re-establish an outpost on a bald hill which had been overrun by the enemy. Under intense mortar and artillery barrage, Cpl. Brown led his machine gun squad up to the crest of the hill. Then, fully exposing himself to enemy observation and small arms fire, Cpl. Brown crawled out on the forward slope to better direct the emplacement of the machinegun.”
In early February, 1945, Cpl Brown was hospitalized in France to recover from a shrapnel wound to his leg incurred in Belgium. After his recovery, he returned to Able Company to serve as a LMG Squad Leader.
He served for 3 year and 7 months, most of which was with Able Company serving in a machine gun squad.
While serving with Able Company,Sgt. Brown earned numerous awards for his service and actions.
|Bronze Star with two oak leaf clusters||Distinguished Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered NORMANDY||Good Conduct Medal|
|Purple Heart||Distinguished Unit Citation (Army), Streamer embroidered BASTOGNE||WWII Victory Medal|
|American Campaign Medal||French Croix de Guerre with Palm, World War II, Streamer embroidered NORMANDY||WWII Army of Occupation Medal (with Germany Badge)|
|European - African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with arrowhead device and four bronze service stars||Netherlands Orange Lanyard|
|Normandy (with arrowhead for parachute assault)||Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 with Palm, Streamer embroidered BASTOGNE|
|Rhineland (with arrowhead for parachute assault)||Belgian Fourragere 1940|
|Combat Infantryman’s Badge|