Thomas BrownPrivate First Class
K CO, 3RD BN, 9TH MARINES, 3RD MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
11 February 1947 - 20 May 1967
New York, New York
Panel 20E Line 055
The database page for Thomas Brown
I worked with Tom at Citibank after I got out of the Air Force in early 1965. Knowing I was a vet, Tom was very inquisitive and I was happy to fill him in on the experiences of basic, overseas stations, etc. After I left the Bank I met Tom on Wall Street in 1966. He was in Marine Dress Uniform and said he was headed over. I wished him luck and told him to call me when he got back. It was a friendly parting and our last. I think about him whenever I see pictures of The Wall.
From a friend,
Notes from The Virtual WallThe North Vietnamese Army had two divisions stationed in the Demilitarized Zone, and a third just north of the DMZ. These forces were supported by heavy artillery based in and north of the DMZ, and were free to cross into South Vietnam as they wished, withdrawing into the sanctuary of the DMZ when necessary. In late Spring of 1967 the United States government changed its policy with respect to the DMZ and authorized MACV to allow US military operations in the southern half of the DMZ.
OPERATION HICKORY was the immediate result and was in response to thrusts south by elements of the two NVA Divisions. HICKORY was intended to defeat NVA units operating south of and within the portion of the DMZ up to (but not across) the Ben Hai River. One of the forces employed was the 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, recently withdrawn from operations west of the Khe Sanh Combat Base.
In the eastern sector, HICKORY was successful in forcing the NVA to withdraw north of the Ben Hai River, in removing some 11,000 civilians from the disputed areas, and in destroying the NVA infrastructure south of the Ben Hai - but that success came at a high cost.
On 20 May, Kilo 3/9, point for the battalion, made contact with what it initially estimated to be an enemy platoon deployed in mutually supporting bunkers in a draw. The enemy, at least a company, took Kilo under fire. To relieve pressure on Kilo, Lima 3/9 maneuvered to the flank of the enemy position, but was unable to link up with Kilo because of heavy enemy fire. Both companies spent the night on opposite sides of the draw with the enemy force between them, while supporting arms pounded the enemy position all night.
On the 21st, Mike 3/9 moved forward, joining with Kilo and Lima, and the three companies were able to clear the area. The clearing operation was costly: 26 Marines were killed and 59 wounded. The Marines counted only 36 enemy bodies, but the lingering smell in the draw indicated that many others were in the destroyed fortifications.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 02 Jan 2007
Last updated 04/15/2007