Albert E. Brown

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Albert Eger Brown
Born(1889-06-13)June 13, 1889
Charleston, South Carolina
DiedOctober 12, 1984(1984-10-12) (aged 95)
Nashville, Tennessee
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1912-1949
RankUS-O8 insignia.svg Major General
UnitUSA - Army Infantry Insignia.png Infantry Branch
Commands held6th Infantry Division
5th Infantry Division
7th Infantry Division
Battles/warsPancho Villa Expedition
World War I

World War II

AwardsLegion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star Medal
Legion of Honour
Croix de Guerre

Albert Eger Brown (June 13, 1889 - October 12, 1984) was a decorated officer in the United States Army with the rank of Major General. A graduate of West Point, he was a veteran of Pancho Villa Expedition and both World Wars and is most noted for his service as Commanding general, 7th Infantry Division during Aleutian Islands campaign.

Following the War, Brown served as Chairman of Joint U.S.-USSR Commission on Korea and his main task was to administer South Korea and negotiate with Soviet delegation. He completed his career in 1949 as Commanding general, Northern Military District of Sixth U.S. Army with headquarters at Vancouver Barracks, Washington.[1][2][3][4]

Early career[edit]

Albert E. Brown was born on June 13, 1889 in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of Samuel Claude Brown and Fannie May Hertz. His father, which family had emigrated to the United States from Scotland, served as part-owner and general manager of Bolton Mining Company, a phosphate rock mining company near Charleston.[2][3][4][5]

Young Albert completed public and private schools in Charleston and graduated from the Charleston High School in summer 1907. He entered the College of Charleston, but left following year, after he received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He was active in football squad and shooting team and earned nickname "Burfy".[2][3]

Among his classmates were several future general officer including: Archibald V. Arnold, Raymond O. Barton, Stephen J. Chamberlin, Bradford G. Chynoweth, Gilbert R. Cook, Roscoe C. Crawford, Philip R. Faymonville, Millard F. Harmon, Wade H. Haislip, Thomas J. Hayes, William H. Hobson, Davenport Johnson, John E. Lewis, Robert M. Littlejohn, Francis B. Mallon, Harry J. Malony, William J. Morrissey, Walter M. Robertson, Sidney P. Spalding, Franklin C. Sibert, Walton Walker, William G. Weaver, William H. Wilbur and John Shirley Wood.[2]

He graduated on June 12, 1912 with Bachelor of Science degree and was commissioned second lieutenant in the Infantry Branch. Brown was then assigned to the 4th Infantry Regiment stationed at Fort Crook, Nebraska and accompanied the regiment to Galveston, Texas in January 1913 during the Border War with Mexican insurgents under Pancho Villa.[6][2][3][4]

Brown served on the Mexican border at Galveston until April 1914, when he sailed with his regiment to Veracruz, Mexico for occupation duty following a United States landing. He was promoted to first lieutenant in July 1916 and assumed command of Infantry company of his regiment at Brownsville.[2][3]

Following the United States entry into World War I in April 1917, Brown was promoted to Captain one month later and ordered to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where he joined newly activated 59th Infantry Regiment as Regimental adjutant. He remained with that outfit until November that year, when he was sent to Camp Greene, North Carolina for service as Adjutant of the 8th Infantry Brigade under Brigadier general Samuel W. Miller.[2][3][4]

Brown was promoted to the temporary rank of Major and embarked for France in June 1918. He participated in the Aisne-Marne Offensive and was named Adjutant of 183rd Infantry Brigade under Brigadier general Charles Gerhardt one month later. He took part in the combats in the Vosges Mountains, Argonne Forest and Marbache sector and following the Armistice, he was attached to the headquarters of 92nd Infantry Division under Brigadier general James B. Erwin.[2][3][4]

Interwar period[edit]

Brown returned with the division to the United States in February 1919 and served for short periods at Camp Upton, New York and Camp Meade, Maryland, before he was appointed Inspector for the 8th District of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps at Kansas City, Missouri in April 1919. He was also reverted to the peacetime rank of Captain.[3]

He spent four years in this capacity and received a permanent rank of Major in April 1923, when he was appointed Professor of Military Science and Tactics at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. Brown was ordered to the Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia in September that year and completed Infantry officers course in June 1924.[3][4]

Another schooling took place shortly thereafter, when he was ordered as a student to the Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Brown graduated in June 1925 and served at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana for some time, before embarked for Hawaii for staff duties with the Hawaiian Department under Major general Edward Mann Lewis.[2][3][4]

Brown returned to the United States in June 1928 and enrolled the Army War College in Washington, D.C., where he graduated following June. He then entered the Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island and graduated from the two-year course in June 1931.[2][3][4]

He was then ordered back to Washington and joined the War Department General Staff, where he served under General Douglas MacArthur, then-Chief of Staff, until October 1935. While in this capacity, Brown was promoted to lieutenant colonel in August 1935.[3]

His next tour of duty took him back to Fort Benning, where he was attached to the Infantry Board, which supervised the development of all weapons and equipment for the Infantry. He then served as commanding officer, 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment from September 1938 to May 1939, when he was transferred to command of 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment. While in this capacities as battalion commander, he participated in the demonstration of infantry tactics and operations for student officers at Fort Benning.[1][3][4]

Brown returned to Washington in April 1940 and assumed duty as Assistant to Chief of Budget & Legislative Planning Board, War Department General Staff. Following his promotion to Colonel in February 1941, he was appointed Chief of the Budget & Legislative Planning Board. While in this capacity, Brown was responsible for the preparation of requests for funds and legislation for Congress and was promoted to the temporary rank of Brigadier general in August 1941.[1][3]

World War II[edit]

Following the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States entry into World War II, Brown was ordered to Fort Ord, California and appointed Assistant Division Commander, 7th Infantry Division under Major general Charles H. White. Brown took part in the amphibious training at the Salinas River in California and following a promotion to temporary rank of Major general in May 1942, he relieved White as Seventh Division Commanding general.[1][2][3][4]

He spent several month with traininig at Camp San Luis Obispo, California and participated in the desert training in the Mojave Desert and later in the amphibious training under Marine general Holland Smith.[3]

Aleutian Islands[edit]

Following the Japanese landing at Kiska and Attu, Aleutian Islands, Brown was tasked with the command of Task force for the capture of Attu. He landed on Attu on D-Day, May 11, 1943, and began advance inland. The progress of his men was slow due to many machine gun nests and sniper fire and Brown requested additional naval bombardment support and more reinforcements. Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid, Commander of the North Pacific Force, who held overall command of the operation, feared of Japanese submarines, which attacked his vessels few days earlier. Brown continued requesting reinforcements and large quantities of engineering and road building equipment, but Kinkaid questioned the request and the lack of any positive indications of a speedy breakthrough persuaded him that Brown was bogged down.[2][3][4][7][5][8]

Kinkaid consulted the situation with generals DeWitt and Buckner Jr., who recommended Brown's relieve. Brown was succeeded by Major general Eugene M. Landrum as Task Force Commander and ordered back to the United States for new assignment.[7][5]

Stateside duty[edit]

Upon his arrival stateside, Brown was given non-combat duty as Commanding general, Infantry Replacement Training Center at Camp Wheeler, Georgia. It had seems that he will spent the rest of the War stateside, but he got another chance, when he was offered assignment in European battlefield.[1][3][4][5]

European Theater of Operations[edit]

In December 1944, Brown was ordered to the European Theater of Operations (E.T.O.) and joined the headquarters, 35th Infantry Division in Belgium for a brief period. He was then appointed Commanding general, Ground Force Reinforcement Command, U.S. E.T.O. and was responsible for the supplying of reinforcements to all units in the E.T.O. until the beginning of April that year, when he assumed command of 5th Infantry Division, following Major general Stafford LeRoy Irwin's promotion to XII Corps command.[1][2][3][4][5]

Brown led the division during the clearing of the Ruhr Pocket and then drove the Germans from the Lower Bavaria, Austria and ultimately crossed the Czechoslovakian border on May 1, 1945. The Fifth Division participated in the combats against retreating german forces until reached the demarcation line near Vimperk and Volary. When stationed in Czechoslovakia following the surrender of Nazi Germany, divisional troops discovered shallow graves of jewish death march victims from Helmbrechts concentration camp, who were starved to death by German SS Troops.[3]

General Brown ordered to german civilians from nearby town to exhumed and reburied them in the cemetery in Volary. He also forces to walk past the dead bodies. For his service in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia, Brown was decorated with Legion of Merit and Bronze Star Medal. He also received Legion of Honour and Croix de Guerre with Palm by France; War Cross by Czechoslovakia and Order of the Red Star by Soviets.[6][3]

Postwar service[edit]

Brown spent several weeks with occupation duty in southeast Lower Bavaria, where his division was responsible for resettlement of displaced persons, supplying of German civilians with food, medical care and maintaining of civil order. By the end of June, Fifth Division began with redeployment to the United States, where it arrived in late July 1945. The Division was subsequently stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where Brown supervised the preparation for division's redeployment to the Pacific theater.[3]

The Surrender of Japan on August 15, changed the situation and Brown was now responsible for the demobilization of his troops until June 1946, when he was himself ordered to the Pacific area for new assignment. Brown assumed command of 6th Infantry Division in Korea, which controlled southern half of the United States occupation zone and remained in that capacity until September that year, when he was appointed Chairman of Joint U.S.-USSR Commission on Korea. His main task was to administer the South Korea and negotiate with Soviet delegation under Colonel general Terentii Shtykov, who was then responsible for the administration of North Korea.[1][2][3][5]

Brown remained in this capacity until December 1946, when he was appointed Deputy Commanding general, U.S. Army Forces in Korea under lieutenant general John R. Hodge. He also served as interim commanding general from February to April 1947 during general Hodge's absence and then resumed his duties as Deputy Commanding general. Brown served in Korea until March 1948 and received his second Legion of Merit for service there.[6][2][3]

Upon his return stateside in September 1948, Brown was appointed Commanding general, Northern Military District of Sixth U.S. Army with headquarters at Vancouver Barracks, Washington. During the same period, he demanded that his case of relieving at Attu in April 1943 be reviewed and after long and acrimonous seriers of hearings, Brown was formally cleared of any misconduct in 1949.[1][5]

Brown retired from the Army on June 30, 1949 after 37 years of active service and settled in Asheville, North Carolina. He and his wife then moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he died on October 12, 1984, aged 95. Major general Albert E. Brown was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, beside his wife Jesse Sewell Weaver Brown (1889-1982) and his son Albert E. Brown Jr., who died in traffic accident in 1940, after his graduation from West Point Military Academy. They were survived by their daughter Jean Fontaine Brown and grandchildren.[2][3][9][4]

Decorations[edit]

Here is Major General Brown's ribbon bar:[6][2][4]

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
1st Row Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster Bronze Star Medal
2nd Row Mexican Service Medal World War I Victory Medal with three Battle Clasps American Defense Service Medal American Campaign Medal
3rd Row Asiatic–Pacific Campaign Medal with one 3/16 inch service star European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three 3/16 inch service stars World War II Victory Medal Army of Occupation Medal
4th Row Officer of the Legion of Honor (France) French Croix de guerre 1939-1945 with Palm Czechoslovak War Cross 1939-1945 Soviet Order of the Patriotic War

See also[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
George M. Williamson, Jr.
Commanding General, 6th Infantry Division
June 1946 – September 1946
Succeeded by
John T. Pierce
Preceded by
S. Leroy Irwin
Commanding General, 5th Infantry Division
April 21, 1945 – June 20, 1946
Succeeded by
Jens A. Doe
Preceded by
Charles H. White
Commanding General, 7th Infantry Division
May 1942 – May 12, 1943
Succeeded by
Charles H. Corlett


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Biography of Major-General Albert Eger Brown (1889 - 1984), USA". generals.dk. generals.dk Websites. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Albert E. Brown 1912 - West Point Association of Graduates".
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Jones, Charles V. (1948). Current biography yearbook 1948 - Who's News and Why. New York City: H.W. Wilson. p. 8. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Albert Eger Brown - Arlington National Cemetery".
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Brown, Albert Eger (1889-1984) - The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia".
  6. ^ a b c d "Valor awards for Albert E. Brown". valor.militarytimes.com. Militarytimes Websites. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Chapter XI - Clearing the Aleutians".
  8. ^ "What We Learned from the Battle of Attu".
  9. ^ "MG Albert E. Brown (1889 – 1984) – Find A Grave Memorial".