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PFC Raymond Ralph Brown
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Birth: Jan. 11, 1912
Clarinda
Page County
Iowa, USA
Death: Jun. 5, 1943, At Sea

Raymond Ralph Brown was the only child born of Raymond P. Brown and Nina Pearl Waterman. Though born in Iowa, he was raised and educated in Kansas City, Missouri, where, at age 18, he worked as a grocery store clerk.

Ray enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve on July 22, 1935. He attended weekly drills in Kansas City under the command of Observation Squadron Ten-M. In August, 1940, he joined the regular Marines and served with a variety of Marine Reserve aviation units in the Midwest.

In October of 1940, Ray was sent in San Diego, California, with and assigned to Scouting Squadron Two. Although older than most of the other enlisted men and officers, Ray was still considered the new man upon his arrival, and as such was assigned to mess duty. Shortly after the war broke out, Ray's squadron, renamed VMSB-241, left San Diego for Ewa Field, Hawaii, and then moved on to garrison the airfield at Midway Island.

Ray was qualified as a gunner and radio operator for dive-bomber aircraft. He flew a Vought SB2U Vindicator with VMSB-241 out of Midway. His pilot was Second Lieutenant Bruce Ek. On May 26, the squadron received a few Douglas Dauntless SBD-2 dive bombers and the commanding officer, Major Lofton Henderson, divided his pilots into two groups. Ray and Lt. Ek were in the group that received the new aircraft, and flew in the second division of Henderson's group on the wing of Lieutenant Richard Blain.

Their plane was Dauntless #2184. On the morning of June 4, 1942, Lt Ek and Ray took off from Midway and, as Japanese planes turned the base to rubble behind them, flew off to try and find the carrier strike force that was approaching their territory.

After nearly ninety minutes in the air, the Americans spotted the carriers and were in turn spotted by patrolling planes from the carrier HIRYU. The slow dive bombers, unable to dive properly due to the pilots inexperience (they had only had a few days to learn how to fly this new plane), were easy targets. Soon, seven of the bombers were falling in flames one of them carried Lt. Ek and Ray to their deaths.

To this day, Ray's and his lieutenant's remains are lost in the Pacific Ocean, where they quite possibly are still with their plane manning their guns.

At the time of his death, Ray's mother was living at 510 West 39th Terrace, Kansas City, Missouri. His parents lie at rest in the Clarinda Cemetery, Clarinda, Iowa. Their headstone features a cenotaph to their son (see photo with this memorial as posted on memorial #80405111 created by Pat O'Dell).

Private First Class Raymond Ralph Brown, Sn# 274208, earned the following badges/decorations for his service in the United States Marine Corps during World War II:
- Navy Air Crew Wings
- Distinguished Flying Cross
- Purple Heart Medal
- Combat Action Ribbon
- Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon
- Marine Corps Good Conduct Ribbon
- American Defense Service Medal
- Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations Campaign Medal with one bronze battle/campaign star
- World War II Victory Medal

**NOTE** - A portion of this bio is based on information from the website missingmarines.com. They have done a fantastic job of researching approximately 3000 US Marines whose bodies were lost in the war. This writer wholeheartedly recommends their site for researchers or families of the missing. - Rick Lawrence, MSgt., USMC/USAFR {RET})
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Raymond Pressley Brown (1888 - 1947)
  Nina Waterman Brown (1890 - 1963)
 
Note: Entered the service from Texas.
 
Burial:
Honolulu Memorial *
Honolulu
Honolulu County
Hawaii, USA
Plot: Tablets of the Missing
*Cenotaph [?]
 
Maintained by: Rick Lawrence
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 06, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56116512
PFC Raymond Ralph Brown
Added by: Sherry SH
 
PFC Raymond Ralph Brown
Added by: Pat O'Dell
 
PFC Raymond Ralph Brown
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Karin Green
 
 
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

In honored remembrance of your valiant service and ultimate sacrifice for our great nation and the Allied cause during World War II. May it not have been in vain. Semper Fidelis!
- Rick Lawrence, MSgt., USMC/USAFR (RET)
 Added: Jan. 14, 2014
 
 
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