Robert S. Brown
Major, United States Marine Corps
by his son,
My father, Major Robert S. Brown, was born 6 August 1907 in Wilson, Mississippi County, Arkansas.
He attended the University of Mississippi for two years before receiving an appointment to the U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. He graduated with the Class of 1931 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.
He attended Marine Officer's Basic School at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. His duty stations included Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, New Jersey, Parris Island, South Carolina, Commanding Officer of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Ranger on her shakedown cruise to Argentina, Marine Barracks, Guam, the American Legation, Peking, China and MCB,Quantico, Virginia.
We were at Quantico when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. My father was the S-3 Officer, First Marine Raider Battalion, under the command of Colonel Merritt Edson.
He was killed the 14th of September 1942 on
the island of Guadalcanal and was postumously awarded the Navy Cross.
Sweeda was lifted into the truck bed along
with several other wounded, and three stretcher cases were placed athwart
the truck bed. As the truck moved out, however, it was raked by a sudden
burst of machine gun fire from the edge of the jungle. The driver was hit,
and the truck rolled to a stop as the Japanese gun crew continued to spray
the vehicle with its helpless casualties. Sweeda remembers "yelling with
the other wounded for someone to move the truck. I didn’t remember how
or when the truck did move, but I do remember someone at the field hospital
rolling me over and jabbing a needle in my rear end …when I awoke I lay
on a cot in the hot sun. There were wounded all around." Sometime later
he learned that Major Brown and two others were killed in the ambush.
Page Updated: 25 August 2000 Updated: 9 March 2003 Updated: 6 November 2005