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David Brown

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Information about David Brown

Profile image of David Brown

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Soldier

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Yellow
Favorite Food:
Ice Cream
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
8/26/1920
Birth Location:
Memphis, Tennessee

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Soldier

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Yellow
Favorite Food:
Ice Cream
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
8/26/1920
Birth Location:
Memphis
See how David Brown is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Enlisted Soldier David W. Brown was born on August 26, 1920 in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1943, four years after completing high school, and three days after he and his wife were married, Brown was drafted into the United States Army.

In 1944, Brown was deployed during World War II with the 490th Port Battalion, 226 Port Company European Theater, where he served as a technician 4th Grade. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, Brown landed on the shores of Utah Beach alongside 23,000 other men as allied forces stormed the beaches at Normandy. The following year, while still serving in Europe, he would travel to England, France and Belgium. In December of 1945, Brown received an Honorable Discharge from the United States Army. Following the end of the War, he returned to the United States and was discharged from the military in a ceremony at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Brown then traveled to St. Louis, Missouri, where he attended Maplewood Refrigeration, a vocational school. After completing training there in 1948, Brown worked as a refrigeration engineer. He also attended the Carrier Corporation, another vocational institute in Syracuse, New York, where he received further schooling in AC engineering. Brown went on to work as a refrigeration and air conditioning engineer at Beaumont Medical and System Air. He then established his own firm, Brown Industrial Corporation.

Brown was the recipient of many awards and honors. In 2004, he was the featured veteran in Studs Terkel’s production The Good War, showcased in Skokie, Illinois. Then, in 2009, after contributing to the History Channel’s program A Distant Shore: African Americans of D-Day, Brown was awarded an Emmy plaque from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In 2010, during a ceremony in Northbrook, Illinois, he was awarded the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor medal, the highest decoration bestowed on those who have achieved remarkable deeds for France.

Brown passed away on June 13, 2015 at age 94.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of David Brown's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - David Brown lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - David Brown discusses his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - David Brown discusses his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - David Brown talks about how his parents met and married, their life in Memphis, Tennessee, and his mother's electrical and plumbing skills
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - David Brown describes his childhood home in Memphis, Tennessee, as well as his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - David Brown describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - David Brown describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - David Brown describes Christmas holidays with his family during the Great Depression
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - David Brown describes the neighborhood where he grew up in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - David Brown describes his experience in elementary school and high school in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - David Brown talks about his history and chemistry classes in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - David Brown talks about his experience in church as a child, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - David Brown talks about his experience in church as a child, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - David Brown talks about his experience in elementary school and his desire to become an engineer
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - David Brown talks about building radios and a doorbell as a teenager
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - David Brown talks about listening to BBC radio's newscast about World War II, and his interest in airplanes
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - David Brown talks about growing up during the Great Depression, and losing the money that he had invested in a program in grade school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - David Brown talks about his in high school and his friends who volunteered for military service
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - David Brown talks about working at an engineering store after graduating from high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - David Brown talks about being drafted into World War II
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - David Brown talks about meeting his wife
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - David Brown talks about the events that led him to date his wife
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - David Brown talks about dating his wife
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - David Brown talks about growing up during segregation, and saving to buy a car
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - David Brown describes how he and his brother, Grover, were drafted into World War II, and their trip to Fort Benning, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - David Brown talks about leaving home for the draft and being assigned to boot camp in Louisiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - David Brown talks about his experience at Camp Harahan, Louisiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - David Brown talks about his altercation with the first sergeant at Camp Harahan, Louisiana, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - David Brown talks about his altercation with the first sergeant at Camp Harahan, Louisiana, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - David Brown talks about his transfer to Newport News, Virginia in August of 1943
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - David Brown talks about his reassignment to the U.S. Navy and his involvement with an espionage interception mission
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - David Brown talks about being assigned to the Allied invasion of Normandy, France in 1944 during World War II
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - David Brown describes the events that led up to his involvement in the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 during World War II, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - David Brown describes the events that led up to his involvement in the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 during World War II, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - David Brown describes the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 during World War II, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - David Brown describes the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 during World War II, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - David Brown reflects upon the deaths of American soldiers during the invasion of Normandy in June, 1944, during World War II
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - David Brown describes his experience after landing on Utah Beach, Normandy in June, 1944 during World War II, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - David Brown describes his experience after landing on Utah Beach, Normandy in June, 1944 during World War II, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - David Brown talks about the roles of the soldiers on Utah Beach, Normandy in June, 1944 during World War II
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - David Brown talks about leaving Utah Beach, Normandy, France and being reassigned to Rouen, France in November of 1944
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - David Brown talks about the Battle of the Bulge and how German soldiers killed American soldiers and masqueraded as American troops
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - David Brown discusses two rare instances of racial discrimination while he was a soldier at Utah Beach, Normandy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - David Brown talks about his assignment to Rouen, France
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - David Brown discusses his experience in Rouen, France, as the German offense mounted
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - David Brown talks about the killing of German intruders at his post at Rouen, France during the Battle of the Bulge
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - David Brown talks about being promoted to Technician Fourth Grade and other black officers whom he served with
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - David Brown talks about the soldiers who died on Utah Beach, Normandy in June of 1944
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - David Brown talks about the close-knit environment of the troops he served with in World War II
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - David Brown talks about being assigned to special duty in Rouen and an American soldier killing an anti-Semitic German
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - David Brown talks about capturing a German ship in Cherbourg, France
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - David Brown talks about being stationed in Cherbourg, France, after World War II
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - David Brown talks about his transition out of Europe after World War II, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - David Brown talks about his transition out of Europe after World War II, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - David Brown describes his trip from Belgium to New York in December, 1945
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - David Brown talks about leaving the U.S. Army in January of 1946, his journey home to Memphis, and the reception from his family
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - David Brown talks about encountering racial discrimination as a World War II veteran in America, and his decision to attend trade school
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - David Brown describes his experience in trade school
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - David Brown talks about his first job assignment and racial discrimination
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - David Brown talks about his brother's return from World War II and his career in the railroad and in printing
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - David Brown talks about his children, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - David Brown talks about his children, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - David Brown talks about his efforts in the union for rights for African Americans in the 1940s
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - David Brown reflects upon the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Presidents John F. Kennedy and Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - David Brown reflects upon the Vietnam War and the politics of war and veterans' services
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - David Brown reflects about being recognized as an African American soldier in World War II and D-Day, and the movie industry's portrayal of the war
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - David Brown reflects upon receiving the Legion of Honor Award, and the difference between his treatment in Europe and in the U.S.
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - David Brown reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - David Brown shares his message to future generations
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - David Brown gives a message to the African American community
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - David Brown reflects upon racial prejudices in the United States and segregation in the U.S. Army during World War II
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - David Brown describes his photographs