Lieut Bruce Wadleigh Brown

Lieut Bruce Wadleigh Brown

Hampton, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, USA
Death 12 Sep 1968 (aged 23)
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
Burial Concord, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, USA
Plot Single Annex Section, Row 8, Grave 1B
Memorial ID 74212718 · View Source
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Home of Record: Hampton, NH
Date of birth: 02/13/1945

Service: Army of the United States
Grade at loss: O2
Rank: First Lieutenant
ID No: O5240976
MOS: 1204: Armored Reconnaissance Unit Commander
Length Service: 03

Start Tour: 12/20/1967
Incident Date: 08/27/1968
Casualty Date: 09/12/1968
Age at Loss: 23 (based on date declared dead)
Location: Quang Tin Province, South Vietnam
Remains: Body recovered
Casualty Type: Hostile, died of wounds
Casualty Reason: Ground casualty
Casualty Detail: Other explosive device

ON THE WALL Panel 44W Line 035


Hampton Honors Vietnam Veteran Bruce W. Brown
Pier Dedicated to Bruce Brown
By Nancy Rineman
Hampton Union, Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Notes from The Wall:
L.C. Ross
OCS Classmate
We helped each other in OCS. You did your Duty and Honored your Country. I haven't forgotten you Bruce. Thanks for Freedom.
May 6, 2011

7983, BROOKSIDE DR., ROME, NY., 13440, United States
Jul 12, 2009

manny g
Fellow Veteran 69-70 An Khe
Union Gap, WA. 98903
"You are Remembered"
Peace and condolence, to the family and friends. "He which hath no stomach, to this fight, let him depart. But we in it, shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers!! For he today, that sheds his blood with me, shall always be my brother." Rest in peace brave soldier, you have not been forgotten. (W.Shakespeare) May God Bless you, for your Sacrifice!!!
Feb 13, 2008

Jeff Vadzemnieks
Humble, TX., USA
Thank You
You may, have made the ultimate sacrifice, before I, was born, but I want, to tell you that you, are not forgotten. Thank you!
Tuesday, September 12, 2000

Kimberly Kimmel-Ober
Encinitas, California, United States, of America
For 1LT/02, Bruce Brown and all those, who knew him and loved him, I just want to say, thank you, for your dedication and sacrifice! Please know, that you have, not been forgotten and always, will hold a special place, in my heart! It would have been nice, to have known, you, as a person and I greatly, appreciate your service! I just wish, you, did not, have to pay, so high, a price! You forever will, be a hero, in my eyes!
Thursday, February 14, 2002

Bruce Wadleigh Brown was born on February 13, 1945 to Harold A. and Myriel R. (Angwin) Brown.
He joined the Armed Forces while in Hampton, NH. He served as a 1204 in the Army. In 3 years of service, he attained the rank of 1LT/02. He began a tour of duty on December 20, 1967. On September 12, 1968, at the age of 23, Bruce Wadleigh Brown perished in the service of our country in South Vietnam, (Pr & Mr [Pr is the abbreviation for Province, Mr is Military Region. From "Where We Were in Vietnam" by Michael Kelley and "Vietnam Order of Battle" by Captain Shelby L. Stanton.] Unknown.)

You can find Bruce W. Brown honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Panel 44W, Row 35.

Hampton Boy Viet Casualty
Bruce Wadleigh Brown
Hampton Union, Thursday, September 19, 1968
A Hampton man, 23 year old Bruce W. Brown, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Brown, 101 Locke Road, became the state's 152nd Vietnam casualty Thursday when he died in a San Antonio, Texas hospital.

Lt. Brown was severely burned August 27 when his tank was hit by an enemy artillery round. He was evacuated from the batt1e zone and taken to the Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio which specializes in burn cases.

According to his father, the young lieutenant was on the way to recovery, but a telephone call Thursday from Mrs. Brown brought the tragic news.

Lt. Brown was commissioned an Army second lieutenant on graduation from the Armor Officer Candidate School at Ft. Knox in January, 1967. He left for Vietnam just before Christmas, 1967.

His father said Lt. Brown and one other crew member were in the tank when it was hit near coastal Chu Lai. Both men were "set afire" the father said, but each helped the other to escape the flaming tank. They hid under the armored vehicle until rescued.

A graduate of Winnacunnet High School in 1963, he attended the University of New Hampshire. Brown was formerly employed as a service manager for Western Auto, Hampton. before entering the army in August, 1965. He was married and the father of one child.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the Trinity Episcopal Church, Hampton. In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be sent to Children's Hospital.

Newspaper & date unknown
The Bronze Star medal, the Silver Star and an Army Commendation Medal have been awarded posthumously to Army 1st Lt. Bruce W. Brown, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Brown, 101 Locke Road, Hampton.

Lt. Brown. Hampton's First Vietnam casualty, died last September as the result of burns suffered in Vietnam.

Lt. Brown has been awarded the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster for heroic action on August 17, 1968. While serving as a platoon leader near the village of An Phuong, Lt. Brown's platoon was attacked from a ridge line nearby, subjecting the platoon to intensive fire from hostile automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades. The citation reads in part: "Lt. Brown immediately organized his elements ... he unhesitantly dismounted his track, located a medic, and with total disregard for his own safety, raced from vehicle to vehicle loading casualties and providing immediate aid to the injured ... Throughout the vicious assault, Lt. Brown remained undaunted and inspired superior performance on the part of his men."

The Silver Star was awarded for gallantry in action on August 27, 1968. On that date, Lt. Brown's platoon was conducting a reconnaissance mission near the village of Binh Yen. While moving in the area, they suddenly came under intense hostile fire emanating from a series of well fortified bunkers and trenches. Trapped in a devastating cross fire, Lt. Brown began maneuvering his tank from position to position in order to direct well placed suppressive fire into enemy fortifications. Fifty meters from the enemy bunkers, his tank sustained two hits from an enemy recoilless rifle, disabling the vehicle and seriously wounding Lt. Brown. Undaunted, he ignored his painful wounds and remained in command."

The Army Commendation medal was awarded to Lt. Brown for meritorious achievement from June 24 to July 5. 1968. During that time Lt. Brown developed and implemented plans for the dissemination of twenty-eight million leaflets in support of a special operation in North Vietnam.

Lt. Brown was returned to the United States following the August 27 mishap and died at the Brooks Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas a week later.

Besides his parents, Lt. Brown is survived by his widow Mrs. Beverly (Lewis) Brown, a son Bruce W. Brown, Jr., both of Columbia, South Carolina and a brother Kim F. Brown of Hampton.

Bruce Wadleigh Brown
Hampton Union, Thursday, September 19, 1968
We knew him from the time he was a small boy in our small town.
We knew him as the chum of our then small sons.
And watched him grow.
We remember him at Winnacunnet High School and we remember well the only two or or three times we saw him following his graduation night.
Bruce was always friendly and ever polite.
And it was like him to become a leader in the tragically never-ending furious fight for freedom.
Bruce Brown left us the other day. The burns he received in battle were too much.
The heart of the community goes out to Bruce's parents. That heart goes out in sympathy and in sorrow.
But it must also go out in gratitude -- and in loyalty to the sacrifice -- Bruce and thousands of his comrades have made towards the establishment of decency and honor in the world.
It's all impossible to understand sometimes -- it's all seemingly useless. Perhaps the only way we can understand is to relate the awful sacrifices of the moment to like sacrifices in every generation to keep liberty alive. A truth we cannot duck is that the freedoms so precious to us would have long since disappeared were it not for the Bruce Browns of every age.

Bruce Brown Deserves Honor
By Terry Savage
Hampton Union, Tuesday, June 13, 2006
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Editor's note: Last month, the Hampton Board of Selectmen voted to name the town's new rescue pier after Bruce W. Brown, a Vietnam veteran and Hampton resident, who died as a result of battle wounds.

HAMPTON -- Now almost 40 years later, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I first learned that he had been badly wounded. And over the years my thoughts have returned to him often.

I met him when I was 13. I didn't like him. He was bold, brash, confident. I was shy, insecure. I tried to get along, agreeing with his pronouncements.

"That's right," I'd say.

"Of course, it's right," he'd bluster. "I wouldn't have said it if it wasn't right!"

He was my senior in every way: older, bigger, quicker. And it didn't look like he was ever going to let me forget it.

It was father's fault that I had to deal with him at all. He'd arranged a job for me with a friend of his, Stan Brown. Stan owned the Western Auto store in the center of Hampton. Stan had a remarkable gift for mentoring. You didn't just work for Stan, you grew with him.

Even I grew. And over time, ever so gradually — through countless bicycle assemblies, mower repairs, washing machine installations, and all the rest that went with the store — mutual respect grew as well. My nemesis became my friend. "The friend," as was once said, "is another self." Not the self you see in the mirror, the other self, the one that helps define and complete you.

Bruce Brown died from his wounds. I feared it when I first heard the news, but still young myself, I could scarcely believe it was possible. He was the very embodiment of life, after all. I still think of him as one of the very brightest people I've known.

Stan had an old safe that was useless because no one knew the combination. Bruce took it apart for fun while on a lunch break one day and gave Stan the combination. And his zest for life was insatiable; if you were around him, you'd be drawn into that continual rush, like it or not.

Riding on the back of his Harley XLCH, I'd plan our conversation for the point just before the sharpest curve, hoping the distraction would slow him down. It didn't.

Bruce Brown was my friend. And I carry him with me to this day. But Bruce was much more than one person's friend. He was a son, a brother, a husband, and a father who never got to know his own son.

He was among the many called to serve his country; and among the few, and still too many, of Hampton's sons to make the ultimate sacrifice. To his fellow soldiers he was a comrade, a leader, and for some, quite literally a savior.

That Bruce would win the Silver Star, that he would put himself forward in the battle, that he would sacrifice everything to his mission and his comrades did not surprise me. He'd always seemed just a little larger than life.

A famous passage, speaking of other such sacrifices long ago, notes that such men "have the whole earth as their memorial: not only in the inscriptions on their graves ... but in people's hearts, their memory abides and grows."

And so Bruce remains in the hearts of his family, friends and comrades in arms.

But in Bruce Brown, Hampton also has a son who was a genuine hero, a potent symbol of life and sacrifice for all those who have faced danger in the service of their country. On behalf of those who knew and admired him, I would like to thank the Board of Selectmen for having honored Bruce and for assuring that his life and is sacrifice are identified with Hampton for all the years to come.

You have helped to ensure a lasting memory of an exceptional man, a man whose life and sacrifice are a fitting symbol of all the lives and all the sacrifices of Hampton's sons and daughters.

[Terry Savage is a resident of Brentwood.]


Almost 40 years after his death in Vietnam, 1st Lt. Bruce W. Brown of Hampton was honored on Sunday by family and friends and a host of others who now know his story.

About 100 people, including Brown's widow, Beverly, gathered at the Marine Pier at Hampton Harbor on Sunday afternoon to attend a dedication ceremony for Brown and to witness the unveiling of a plaque bearing his name.

Ralph Fatello, commander of American Legion Post 35 in Hampton, addressed the crowd from a podium with the pier and harbor in the background. Fatello told the significance of the day's date, the very day 32 years ago that "Operation Frequent Wind," the evacuation of Saigon, took place, followed by the last Americans leaving Vietnam the very next day.

"Over 58,000 Americans lost their lives in Vietnam," Fatello said. "One of those 58,000 killed was Hampton's own Bruce W. Brown, a 1st lieutenant in the U.S. Army."

Post 35 earlier in the day held a ceremony naming Marston School's athletic field in the name of fellow veteran Mark Brown, who was killed in action in Vietnam. The men, while both from Hampton, were not related. They were honored together as part of the Brown Memorial Vietnam Veterans Weekend.

Bruce Brown was a tank commander who lost his life near the sandy beaches of the coastal town of Chu Lai. Brown received both the Bronze Star with a V Device for Valor and the Silver Star for Gallantry in Action.

"For the record, they do not just hand those medals out to anyone," Fatello said.

Fatello recounted how Brown's Bronze Star came in recognition of heroic action on Aug. 17, 1968, while serving as a platoon leader near the village of An Phuong. Ten days later, on Aug. 27, 1968, Lt. Brown was awarded the Silver Star for Gallantry. Under intense hostile fire, Brown maneuvered his tank, directing well-placed suppressive fire into enemy fortifications. His tank then sustained two direct hits from enemy fire, disabling it and seriously wounding Brown, who nevertheless remained in command.

Brown returned to the United States and died a week later from his wounds. He left behind his wife, Beverly; son, Bruce W. Brown Jr.; and a brother, Kim Brown, all of Hampton.

Honoring Bruce Brown on Sunday were his friends, former Hampton selectman Cliff Pratt and Sgt. Paul Fitzgerald of Hampton Falls.

With a voice choked with emotion, Pratt talked about his friend.

"Bruce was a tinkerer," Pratt said. "I think it was in their (family's) blood."

Pratt said Brown introduced him to the world of motorbikes and his ability to fix them. With no noise ordinances in place, Pratt said Brown would take off every noise-muffling device and roar away from his house.

"Every time I hear a motorcycle go down Locke Road, I think of Bruce," Pratt said. "God bless you, Bruce, and God bless America."

Fitzgerald said he and Brown were good friends in high school and "even better after."

"We both bought motorcycles; Bruce talked me into that," Fitzgerald said. He remembers their evening rides, often ending up at Whyte's Lane "in the mud."

Fitzgerald said they had to think of the military obligations that were fast approaching. That Brown received the Bronze Star and the Silver Star came as no surprise to Fitzgerald, who praised Brown's mechanical ability, his leadership, and his ability to fix things.

Years ago, on a trip to Washington, D.C., Fitzgerald said he and his wife found the names of several people they knew on the Vietnam Wall. They etched these names, including Bruce's, and gave it to Bruce's mother when they returned to Hampton.

"You boys are getting older, and Bruce is still young," Fitzgerald remembers Brown's mother saying.

"Bruce paid a tremendous price," Fitzgerald said. "I'll put my hand on this rock and I will feel his presence; how gifted, how likeable, how brave and courageous he was ...; wonderful memories of a wonderful friend."

Hampton Fire Chief Hank Lipe spoke of the newest completed project in Hampton and the appropriateness of the ceremony and dedication for Brown.

"I'd like everyone to think of this pier as a symbol of service," Lipe said.

"That day in 1968, Lt. Brown and his troops went on a mission. They transited their "pier," or safe ground, knowing the hazards they faced," Lipe said. "He died a young man with the American spirit from Hampton, New Hampshire. His actions of courage, pride, and professionalism will now be perpetually remembered as we dedicate this pier in his name.

"When you look down this pier, please think of Lt. Brown leaving his post that day in 1968."

Fatello credited Post 35 Chaplain John Holman for pointing out the omission of the names of Bruce Brown and Mark Brown for recognition for losing their lives in Vietnam. Fatello said the observation was made at a monthly meeting in April last year. An immediate unanimous decision "to do something" was made that night, followed by positive meetings with Hampton selectmen.

"Bruce will never be forgotten," Fatello told the somber crowd. "This plaque that bears his name seems a fitting place of honor, where men will go and rescue those in need of help. Indeed a fitting place for a true American Vietnam War hero."

Lt. Bruce Brown had been married just two years when he was killed. His wife, Beverly, who lives in Atlanta, was at Sunday's event. She has been a kindergarten teacher in Atlanta for 26 years. Their son, Bruce Jr., who also lives in Atlanta, is now 39, with two children of his own, Stephanie, 5, and Matthew, 4.

Despite the years that have passed, Beverly said, "You never forget."

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  • Created by: Karen Hopkins
  • Added: 31 Jul 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 74212718
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lieut Bruce Wadleigh Brown (13 Feb 1945–12 Sep 1968), Find A Grave Memorial no. 74212718, citing Blossom Hill Cemetery, Concord, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, USA ; Maintained by Karen Hopkins (contributor 47281711) .