Ronald Howard Brown

United States Marine Corps
06 January 1937 - 07 February 1968
Sun Valley, California
Panel 37E Line 079


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Ronald Howard Brown

3 May 2001

Ronny was 14 years older than I and not around much when we visited his mom and dad's house. I remember him as bigger than life though, a football player for the Marine Corps team. When he was around, he was always willing to throw a ball so a little cousin could catch it, or not. Or walk in the park just across the street and push my little sister and me on the swings. He was married though I never met his wife; no children. I got the news of his death when I was in high school, it rocked the whole family. We all adored him, a college graduate and a career soldier, a rarity in those days. Then off to fight for us.

The park is still there as are his mother and father. I walked in that park last year. It made me sad, even after thirty-two years. Ronny, we still miss you.

Skip Dunn
Eagle River, AK
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

04 Jan 2003

I was on a convoy near Hue City on 7 Feb 68. We were headed to the 11th Marines Artillery Battery southwest of Hue. On the return to Phu Bai we were overrun by an NVA regiment. None of the vehicles made it back. A Captain Ron Brown was in charge of this convoy. He was killed in the initial attack. I was one of the few survivors of this convoy. I was wounded and medevaced to Yokosuka, Japan, and then to the States. I did not know Captain Brown personally, but I will remember 7 Feb 68 forever. I wake up thinking about that day and go to bed each night thinking of the events of that day.

Joe Tiscia, Cpl, 2/5 Marines ... 7 Feb 1968

19 Mar 2006

My name is Ron Taylor. I was HQ 1/11 FDC. I did not know Captain Brown because he was with Bravo Battery but I spoke with him at the FDC bunker the day before the convoy left. The convoy was overrun and the vehicles were left out there for a month. I have photos of the vehicles, including the captain's jeep, when they brought them in. We fired artillery in support of the men of that convoy. We were told that a total of 45 men were killed on that convoy. Only 3 from 1/11 though. Captain Brown's driver was also killed.

Ron Taylor

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The following description of the events of 07 Feb are taken from the Command Chronologies of the 1st Bn, 11th Marines, the 11th Marine Regiment, and the 5th Marine Regiment:
On 29 January B Battery, 1/11, had been relocated to a position west of Nam Ho on the west side of the Huong River, south of Hue City. The battery was resupplied by motor convoys originating at Phu Bai. At 1400 07 Feb an 18-vehicle resupply convoy departed B Battery's position at YD744131 to return to Phu Bai. At YD746166, about a mile and a half north of the B Battery position, one of the vehicles hit a mine and a second either struck a mine or was hit by a 57mm recoilless rifle round. At this point, three vehicles were ahead of the stricken trucks when the entire convoy was taken under heavy attack by enemy fires from the high ground on either side of the roadway. Two ONTOS 106mm gun tracks were in the lead, and convoy commander Captain Ronald H. Brown, the 1/11 Logistics Officer, was riding one of them. According to the 1st Tank Bn Chronology,
"On 7 February, Ontos A-11 and A-13 [1st Plt, Alpha 1st AT] supporting a convoy received heavy small arms, automatic weapons, mortar, and recoilless rife fire. Grenades and satchel charges were thrown at the vehicles. A-13 received one grenade and one round of recoilless rifle fire resulting in one USMC KIA and one USMC WIA (med-evac). A-13 had returned 106mm before being hit. A-11 received one direct hit of recoilless rifle fire causing two USMC WIA (medevac). A-11 returned machine gun fire before receiving two more hits from a recoilless rifle resulting in one USMC KIA."
The 1st Tanks description refers only to the ONTOS crewmen; Captain Brown also was killed at this time. According to the 5th Marines report, all officers, senior NCOs, and medical Corpsmen with the convoy were killed or wounded in the opening minutes of the attack. The surviving Marines formed a defensive perimeter, returned fire with personal weapons, and called for assistance. Army helicopter gunships arrived overhead by 1500, but a low overcast both limited their effectiveness and increased their vulnerability; two were shot down, although without known fatalities. At the same time, two ground reaction forces were formed - Bravo Battery sent out a force consisting of a platoon from Charlie 1/1, two Army "Dusters", and men from the battery itself, while HQ 5th Marines sent a reaction force consisting of a company minus supported by two Army quad-50s.

Although the force from Bravo Btry had only a short distance to go, that distance was well covered by enemy troops and the Marines were not able to link up with the tail end of the convoy until 1715. The 5th Marines force, coming from Phu Bai by truck, was itself ambushed and was delayed while the Marines dismounted and broke up the ambush. This force linked with the head of the convoy at about 1800.

The cost to both American and enemy forces is unclear. The 5th Marines Chronology says 15 Marines were killed and 26 wounded, while the 1/11 Marines Chronology puts the count higher - 20 Marines and soldiers killed and 39 wounded. The enemy is known to have lost at least 25 dead, perhaps more.

The following Americans are either known or believed to have been killed as a result of the ambush:

  • HQ Btry, 1st Bn, 11th Marines (confirmed)
    • Capt Ronald H. Brown, Sun Valley, CA
    • Pfc Theodore Shingleton, Nutter Fort-Stonewood, WV

  • B Btry, 1st Bn, 11th Marines (confirmed)
  • A Co, 1st Antitank Bn
    • Sgt Ronald R. Prather, Cave Junction, OR (Silver Star)
    • Pfc Thomas L. Beierle, Zion, IL (confirmed)
    • Pfc Manzelle A. Ford, Mount Pleasant, IA
    • Pfc Larry K. Powell, Fort Worth, TX
    Note: One of these four men - probably Pfc Ford or Pfc Powell - was killed in a separate incident in Hue City. Three of the four were in the ONTOS gun tracks involved in the ambush.

  • Comm Co, 7th Comm Bn (confirmed)
    • LCpl Stanley L. Baker, Westminster, CO
    • LCpl John A. Bradley, Lilly, PA
    • LCpl Michael D. Long, Oneonta, AL

  • HQ Co, 9th Eng Bn (confirmed)
  • HQ Co, 5th Marines (confirmed)
    • Pfc Larry W. Kane, Ashland, OH
    • Pfc Darrell C. Trojahn, Nanuet, NY
    • LCpl James L. Waller, Pueblo, CO
    Note: These men were with the 5th Marines reaction force.

  • 1st Bn, 1st Marines
    • LCpl Donald G. Tuyes, Metairie, LA
    Note: Not confirmed. Probably with the B Btry reaction force, i.e., Charlie 1/1

  • D Btry, 1st Bn, 44th Arty Rgt, 1 Field Force, USARV
    • 1LT Robert E. Coates, New York, NY
    Note: Not confirmed. Probably with the Army "Dusters" or quad-50s which accompanied the B Btry and 5th Marines reaction forces.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his cousin,
Skip Dunn
E-Mail may be forwarded via the
3 May 2001

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 03/23/2006