Iowa National Guard

For more than 70 years, the remains of Army Pvt. Donald E. Brown were buried as an Unknown at an American Military Cemetery in France. Thanks to the meticulous work of the POW/MIA Accounting Agency and DNA analysis, Brown’s remains are now coming home to Iowa.

Brown, 24, originally from Thompson, Iowa, will be buried with full military honors provided by the Iowa National Guard at the Thompson Cemetery in Thompson, Iowa at 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 6. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the interment ceremony.

Brown was an avid hunter, enjoyed horses and got along well with others. He entered the Army on April 4, 1942 and trained at Camp Roberts, California and in Texas before returning to Iowa for a furlough in 1943.

Brown left for overseas duty in March of 1944 where he served with Company A, 745th Tank Battalion, which fought in support of the 1st Infantry Division in Europe during World War II.

Brown was killed in action on July 28, 1944 when his M-4 Sherman tank was destroyed by enemy fire near Cambernon, France. Unfortunately, Brown’s remains could not be recovered at the time of his death.

Following the end of hostilities, the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) began searching for the remains of U.S. service members who were killed in battle.

AGRC investigators located remains in a tank belonging to Brown’s battalion in July 1947, however, they were unable to positively determine that those remains belonged to Brown. The remains were interred as Unknown X-452 at a temporary U.S. Military Cemetery as was the customary practice at the time.

Subsequent efforts to positively identify the remains based on records reviews and further research were inconclusive. The remains were declared unidentifiable in 1949 and interred at the Normandy American Cemetery in Collerville-sur-Mer, France.

Research and analysis of American Soldiers missing from ground combat is ongoing. Following a request from Brown’s family, the Department of Defense and the American Battle Monuments Commission disinterred Unknown X-452’s remains in August 2017. Using DNA analysis and anthropological analysis, DPAA scientists determined that the remains were those of Brown.

Despite being listed as an Unknown, Brown’s grave received meticulous care for the past 70 years. A rosette will be placed next to his name on the Wall of the Missing at the Brittany American Cemetery in Saint James, France to indicate that he has now been accounted for.

Brown’s military awards and honors include the Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and World War II Victory Medal.

Posted by on Oct 4 2018. Filed under State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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