Richard James BrownSergeant
K CO, 3RD BN, 5TH MARINES, 1ST MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
27 June 1944 - 26 October 1967
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Panel 28E Line 073
High School yearbook photo courtesy of
The database page for Richard James Brown
I was friends with his brother Bobby but met Richard ("Skip") several times when he was home on leave. He was on his second tour in Nam and if I recall correctly he was going to make the Corps a career.
I was on active duty myself and just about to deploy with my squadron to Vung Tau when I got word of his death. Pine Beach is a small town and thankfully he was the town's only casualty ... but as I recall his death devastated his mother.
I felt a need to recognize him on this great website for his sacrifice.
Loren MacIver ... ATN2/AC USN 1965-1969
A Note from The Virtual WallShortly before dawn on 04 Sep 1967 NVA and VC troops attacked US Marines in the Que Son Valley, beginning Operation Swift. As the battle escalated, both sides introduced additional forces. On 6 September two battalions of the 1st VC Regiment attacked the lead company of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. Bravo Company was isolated and nearly overrun before artillery-delivered tear gas drove the enemy back. The nearby 3rd Battalion was heavily engaged a few hours later. When India 3/5 was dispatched to attack an enemy held hill, it was isolated and nearly overrun by the 1st VC Regiment's previously uncommitted 3rd Battalion. Kilo 3/5 was sent to relieve India and, though it eventually fought through, the two-company force couldn't move because of the many casualties. That night, two assaults were repulsed. In a night attack of their own Mike 3/5 broke through to the encircled companies, completing the disruption of the enemy force. By dawn on the 7th the NVA/VC had withdrawn into the surrounding mountains.
The following men from India and Kilo 3/5 died in the fight for Hill 43:
Sergeant Richard J. Brown wasn't killed in this battle, but he did receive the Silver Star for his actions. Almost 6 weeks later, he was leading a squad patrol about 7 kilometers west-northwest of Dien Ban a boobytrapped 60mm mortar shell was tripped. The 5th Marines Command Chronology for October 1967 contains the following entry for 26 Oct:
"261215H: K CO 3/5 S&D at 995610 detonated 1 booby trap believed to be 60mm [mortar] round. Searched area with negative results. 4 USMC WIA."Two of the four men died from their injuries - Sergeant Brown and Corporal Converse R. Lewis of College Station, Texas.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 20 Feb 2003
Last updated 01/10/2008