July 3 – Happy Birthday Sergeant George E. Brown

brownGeorge Brown was one of the thousands of American young men who had already served their country prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and returned home to find jobs and start families, only to be called back into duty during World War II. Brown had been born in Amsterdam on July 3, 1913 to Edward and Catherie Welsh Brown, attended St Joseph’s Parochial School and then the Amsterdam School of Commerce before joining the US Military in the 1930’s. When his initial hitch was up he took the familiar path many young men fro this city followed, getting a job in the rug mills, meeting and marrying his wife Helen and starting a family, a son George Jr.

Then on  October 31, 1942, ten months after the US entered the War, Brown was called back to duty by the Army. After participating in desert maneuvers in California, Brown was transferred to Fort Dix, NJ for a couple of months and after a short leave to visit his wife and son in March of 1944 he was shipped over to England where the invasion force of Western Europe was being assembled and trained. Brown’s advanced age and prior experience made him a strong candidate for advancement and by the time he landed in Normandy on June 6 1944, he had been promoted to Staff Sergeant. The last word his wife received from him was a letter he wrote her on July 1. Then on August 6, the family received word that Brown had had been declared missing in action in Normandy on July 6. It took four more months for the Army to send official notification to his young widow that Brown had been killed in action on that date. Just a few short weeks earlier, on November 30, 1944, Helen Brown had given birth to the couple’s second child, a daughter Linda, who would never see her Father. Five years later, in December 1949, Brown’s body was returned home for burial in St. Mary’s Cemetery. This young hero had served his country twice and paid the ultimate price for doing so.


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