Bobbie E. Brown

Bobbie E. Brown

Infobox Military Person
name=Robert Evan Brown Jr.
born= birth date|1903|9|2
died= death date and age|1971|11|8|1903|9|2
placeofburial=


caption= Army Medal of Honor
nickname=
placeofbirth=Dublin, Georgia
placeofdeath=
allegiance=United States of America
branch=United States Army
serviceyears=1922-1952
rank= Captain
unit=Company C, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division
commands=
battles=World War II
awards=Medal of Honor
relations=
laterwork=School Janitor

Robert "Bobbie" Evan Brown Jr. (September 2, 1907–November 8, 1971) was a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Crucifix Hill, near Aachen, Germany, on October 8, 1944. He left home and joined the army in 1922, lying about his age. At the start of WWII, he was the first sergeant of the Headquarters Company of the 2nd Armored Division. He received a battlefield commission to second lieutenant and was transferred to the 1st Infantry Division in 1943. Following the death of his company commander on D-Day he assumed command of his company, Company C. Brown left the army with the rank of captain in 1952.

Early life

Robert Brown was born in Dublin, Georgia, in 1907 and left home in 1922 to join the Army.

The next 2 years were spent in and out of hospitals, as army doctors tried to repair damage done by 13 war wounds. He finished his 30 years of service to his country in 1952. Besides the Medal of Honor he also held 2 Silver Stars and the Bronze Star.

Like many men who have faced the full horrors of war, he was plagued by painful memories of his wartime experiences. Unable to find decent civilian job, he ended up as a janitor at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Continually bothered by the horrible memories of war, and in constant pain from injuries, he took his own life on November 12, 1971. He now lies at rest in Section 46 of Arlington National Cemetery, not far from the Tomb of the Unknowns and the Memorial Amphitheater.

Bobbie E. Brown is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.findagrave|6129902 Retrieved on 2007-12-05] Section 46, Site 1021-17.findagrave|6129902 Retrieved on 2007-12-05]

Military career

At the army recruiter's in Columbus, he told the Sergeant he was 18. Because he filled out his first enlistment papers with his nickname "Bobbie," that's how the army knew him for next 3 decades.

He qualified as an expert with every weapon in army's arsenal and took up boxing and American football. He scored 38 victories in the ring and made all-army team for football in 1927. Three universities offered him scholarships to play football for them before they learned he'd only completed 7th grade.

When World War II began he was the First Sergeant in the Headquarters Company of Patton's 2nd Armored Division. After fighting across North Africa, he received battlefield promotion to Second Lieutenant and transferred to the 1st Infantry Division. He led a platoon of Company C up Omaha Beach on D-Day. While fighting across France he assumed command of his unit when his Company Commander was killed. .

Crucifix Hill

A few days later the promotion became official. At 4 am, October 8, 1944, he received orders for an attack on Crucifix Hill. Of 43 known pillboxes and bunkers, his company was responsible for numbers 17, 18, 19, 20, 26, 29, and 30. After a flight of P-47 Thunderbolts finished an air strike at 1:15 pm, he led his company out of positions in a graveyard at foot of the hill. They made it about convert|150|yd to an antitank ditch in front of pillbox 18 before heavy German fire forced them to seek cover. He turned to his platoon Sergeant, "Get me a couple of flamethrowers, some pole and satchel charges." Once armed with those, he had his riflemen lay down a base of fire. Then he started crawling alone toward the pillbox. A bomb had blown a big crater alongside the pillbox. He jumped into it and prepared to drop a satchel charge through an aperture by a door. While he worked, a German soldier suddenly stepped out of door. He instantly leaped forward and struck the man in the face with roundhouse punch. The young soldier dropped limply inside the door. He hurled in a satchel charge, slammed the steel door shut, then dove headfirst back into crater. The pillbox erupted, huge clouds of smoke billowing from its rifle ports.

He wriggled his way back to his men, picked up some more charges, then went back uphill convert|35|yd past the still smoking bunker and toward number 19. Machine-gun bullets zipped past within inches of his head. Several mortar rounds crashed nearby, slamming his body to ground. He shoved a pole charge through a convert|12|in|mm|sing=on opening. That blew a gaping hole in pillbox. For good measure, he tossed a satchel charge. That took care of any survivors. On his way back downhill for more charges, he noticed blood covering one knee. Then his Sergeant told him, "Sir, there's bullet holes in your canteen." He had no idea when he'd been hit.

Pillbox 20 was largest and most heavily armed fortification on the hill. A turret, mounting a cut-down 88 mm, revolved 360 degrees on top. Walls were convert|6|ft|m of concrete. No less than 6 machineguns poked their barrels through firing ports. Later it would be learned that 45 Germans manned the structure. He had no idea how he'd knock it out, but he'd try. He followed a communications trench convert|20|yd from number 19 to 20. He studied the apertures, trying to decide which one to stuff a pole charge in, when nearby movements caught his eye. A German soldier was entering bunker via a steel door, his arms filled with ammunition. As the German disappeared through the door, he acted. He lunged forward, pulled door open, threw in 2 satchel charges, and dove for cover. Just as he landed on his face, the pillbox erupted. With the destruction of pillbox 20, enemy resistance on Crucifix Hill crumbled. All that remained was mopping up. His assault has secured the 1st Division's flank.

He was wounded during the street fighting in Aachen when an artillery shell landed practically beside him. Numb, blood streaming from his nose, ears, and mouth, he headed for an aid station. He spent several months in a hospital in Belgium, then went home on 30-day leave. He rejoined Company C in Germany and fought with it into Czechoslovakia. After the war ended, he flew home to receive his Medal of Honor, August 23, 1945.

Medal of Honor citation

Rank and organization: Captain, U S. Army, Company C, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Place and date: Crucifix Hill, Aachen, Germany, October 8, 1944. Entered service at: Atlanta, Ga. Born: September 2, 1903, Dublin, Ga. G.O. No.: 74, September 1, 1945.

Citation:

:He commanded Company C, 18th Infantry Regiment, on October 8, 1944, when it, with the Ranger Platoon of the 1st Battalion, attacked Crucifix Hill, a key point in the enemy's defense of Aachen, Germany. As the leading rifle platoon assaulted the first of many pillboxes studding the rising ground, heavy fire from a flanking emplacement raked it. An intense artillery barrage fell on the American troops which had been pinned down in an exposed position. Seeing that the pillboxes must be neutralized to prevent the slaughter of his men, Capt. Brown obtained a pole charge and started forward alone toward the first pillbox, about 100 yards away. Hugging the ground while enemy bullets whipped around him, he crawled and then ran toward the aperture of the fortification, rammed his explosive inside and jumped back as the pillbox and its occupants were blown up. He rejoined the assault platoon, secured another pole charge, and led the way toward the next pillbox under continuous artillery mortar, automatic, and small-arms fire. He again ran forward and placed his charge in the enemy fortification, knocking it out. He then found that fire from a third pillbox was pinning down his company; so he returned to his men, secured another charge, and began to creep and crawl toward the hostile emplacement. With heroic bravery he disregarded opposing fire and worked ahead in the face of bullets streaming from the pillbox. Finally reaching his objective, he stood up and inserted his explosive, silencing the enemy. He was wounded by a mortar shell but refused medical attention and, despite heavy hostile fire, moved swiftly among his troops exhorting and instructing them in subduing powerful opposition. Later, realizing the need for information of enemy activity beyond the hill, Capt. Brown went out alone to reconnoiter. He observed possible routes of enemy approach and several times deliberately drew enemy fire to locate gun emplacements. Twice more, on this self-imposed mission, he was wounded; but he succeeded in securing information which led to the destruction of several enemy guns and enabled his company to throw back 2 powerful counterattacks with heavy losses. Only when Company C's position was completely secure did he permit treatment of his 3 wounds. By his indomitable courage, fearless leadership, and outstanding skill as a soldier, Capt. Brown contributed in great measure to the taking of Crucifix Hill, a vital link in the American line encircling Aachen.cite web
accessdate=2007-12-05
url = http://www.army.mil/cmh/html/moh/wwII-a-f.html
title = Bobbie E. Brown, Medal of Honor recipient
work = World War II (A-F)
publisher Army Medal of Honor website
date = July 16, 2007
]

ee also

*List of Medal of Honor recipients
*List of Medal of Honor recipients for World War II
*Crucifix Hill
*Battle of Crucifix Hill
*World War II

Notes

References

*findagrave|6129902 Retrieved on 2007-12-05
*cite web
accessdate=2007-12-05
url = http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/bebrown.htm
title = Bobbie E. Brown, Medal of Honor recipient
work = Arlington National Cemetery Biography
publisher Arlington National Cemetery profile
date = June 27, 2006

*cite web
accessdate=2007-12-05
url = http://www.army.mil/cmh/html/moh/wwII-a-f.html
title = Bobbie E. Brown, Medal of Honor recipient
work = World War II (A-F)
publisher Army Medal of Honor website
date = July 16, 2007

Persondata
NAME= Brown, Bobbie E.
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=
SHORT DESCRIPTION= United States Army Medal of Honor recipient
DATE OF BIRTH=
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=


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