b. 22/02/1931 Mahaffey, Pennsylvania. d. 05/09/1950 Kasan, Korea.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 04/09/1950 Kasan, Korea.
Born and raised in Mahaffey, Pennsylvania, Brown was one of ten children of Edward D. and Rhoda V. Jones Brown. He enjoyed skiing, ice skating, swimming, and fishing. He worked as a mechanic before dropping out of high school and enlisting in the Army at age seventeen in October 1948. He was inspired by his older brother Donald, who had joined the military earlier and was stationed in Japan; two other Brown brothers would also serve in the military. Melvin Brown was sent to Japan, where he stayed for eighteen months until late July 1950 when he was deployed to Korea in the first weeks of the war there.
While in Korea, Brown served as a private first class in Company D of the 8th Engineer Combat Battalion. On September 4, 1950 near Kasan, his platoon was taking a hill when they came under enemy attack. Brown took up a position near a wall and, although he was wounded and eventually ran out of ammunition, maintained his position throughout the battle. The attack was successfully held off, but Brown was declared missing in action the next day.
His family received a telegram in October stating that he was missing. On January 6, 1951, four months after the battle, an Army representative arrived at his parents’ home and informed them that he had been declared dead. His parents and some of his siblings attended a Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House on 9 January 1951, where President Harry S Truman presented the Medal.
Pfc. Brown, Company D distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. While his platoon was securing Hill 755 (the Walled City), the enemy, using heavy automatic weapons and small arms, counterattacked. Taking a position on a 50-foot (15 m)-high wall he delivered heavy rifle fire on the enemy. His ammunition was soon expended and although wounded, he remained at his post and threw his few grenades into the attackers causing many casualties. When his supply of grenades was exhausted his comrades from nearby foxholes tossed others to him and he left his position, braving a hail of fire, to retrieve and throw them at the enemy. The attackers continued to assault his position and Pfc. Brown[,] weaponless, drew his entrenching tool from his pack and calmly waited until they 1 by 1 peered over the wall, delivering each a crushing blow upon the head. Knocking 10 or 12 enemy from the wall, his daring action so inspired his platoon that they repelled the attack and held their position. Pfc. Brown’s extraordinary heroism, gallantry, and intrepidity reflect the highest credit upon himself and was in keeping with the honored traditions of the military service. Reportedly missing in action and officially killed in action, September 5, 1950
BURIAL LOCATION: MAHAFFEY CEMETERY, MAHAFFEY, PENNSYLVANIA.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: FAMILY.