Brown, Albert Eger

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Brown, Albert, born 13-06-1889, two months after Adolf Hitler, in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1935 he was a member of the Infantry Board as a Lieutenant Colonel, untin 20-08-1938. Appointed as Commanding Officer 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment until 01-05-1939 as he was assigned as Commanding Officer 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment. In April 1940 he became the assistant to Chief of Budget & Legislative Planning Board, War Department General Staff until March 1941 meanwhile a Colonel. Chief of Budget & Legislative Planning Board, War Department General Staff and assistant Commanding General, 7th Division, nickname ‘Hourglass Division” from December 1941 now a Brigadier General. From March 1942, promoted to Major General in May 1942, appointed as commanding General of the 7th Division during its assault on Attu in May 1943. General John Lesesne De Witt, who had promised Washington that the invasion would be over in three days, did not want Brown to command the invasion force: Brown believed it would take at least a week to overcome the Japanese on the island. When the assault bogged down, Brown radioed for more reinforcements and supplies. His superiors Admiral Thomas Casine Kinkaid and General Simon Bolivar Jr. Buckner questioned the request, and Brown’s explanation never reached them, due to poor communications. Infuriated by his apparent non-response, Kinkaid relieved Brown of his command.

During the Battle of Okinawa , the soldiers of the 7th Infantry Division killed between 25,000 and 28,000 Japanese soldiers and took 4,584 prisoners. Balanced against this, the 7th Division suffered 2.340 killed and 6.872 wounded for a total of 9.212 battle casualties during 208 days of combat. The division was slated to participate in Operation Downfall as a part of XXIV Corps under the First United States Army, but these plans were scrapped after the Japanese surrendered following the use of nuclair weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

During World War II, soldiers of the 7th Infantry Division were awarded three Medals of Honor, 26 Distinguished Service Crosses, one Distinquished Service Medal, 982 Silver Star Medals, 33 Legion of Merit Medals, 50 Soldiers Medals, 3.853 Bronze Star Medals, and 178 Air Medals.

Brown went on to command 5th Division  in Europe and 6th Division  post-war. In 1948 he demanded that his case be reviewed, and after a long and acrimonious series of hearings, Brown was formally cleared in 1949 In retrospect, it was clear that Brown made serious errors during the preparation and execution of the Attu invasion. However, it is also clear that all the other senior officers involved made equally serious errors. Kinkaid later admitted that he would not have relieved Brown had he had better information on conditions on the ground. The lessons learned at Attu would be put to good use later in the Pacific War. Being the Commanding General Northern Military District of the 6th Army from September 1948, Brown retired from the Service in 1949.

Death and burial ground of Brown, Albert Eger.

His son Albert Eger Brown, Jr. Second Lieutenant, United States Army. United States Military Academy Class of 1940, died, age 23, in an automobile accident in Charlotte, North Carolina, 21-11-1940. Albert Brown himself died old age 85 on 12-10-1984 and is buried with his son and his wife Jesse, born Weaver, who died age 82 on 06-11-1982 on the Arlington National Cemetery, Section 6.

 

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