WWII soldier's remains returning to Iowa for burial

Published: Oct. 4, 2018 at 1:46 PM CDT
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The remains of Army Private Donald E. Brown are coming back to his home state for burial.

For more than 70 years Brown's remains were buried as an Unknown at an American Military Cemetery in France.

After work by the POW/MIA Accounting Agency and DNA Analysis, his remains are coming home to Iowa.

Brown, who died at age 24, was originally from Thompson, where he will be buried with full military honors on Saturday.

Brown joined the Army on April 4, 1942, and trained at Camp Roberts, California. Brown went on to train in Texas before coming back to Iowa for a furlough in 1943.

In 1944, Brown went overseas for duty and served with Company A, 745th Tank Batallion, who fought in support of the 1st Infantry Division in Europe during World War II.

On July 28, 1944, Brown was killed in action when his M-4 Sherman tank was destroyed by enemy fire in France.

Brown's remains weren't recovered until the end of hostilities when the American Graves Registration Command (AGRC) began searching for the remains of U.S. service members who were killed in battle.

Efforts in 1947 and 1948 tried to identify Brown, but none were ever successful.

After 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.

With a DNA analysis and anthropological analysis, scientists determined the remains were those of Brown.

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

The burial will be Saturday at Thompson Cemetery and the public is encouraged to attend.

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