Brown, Merle D. Day of Prayer Vietnam 1970
Day of Prayer -- Throughout the Americal Division's area of operation in the Republic of Vietnam, prayer services in isolated field locations were conducted in observance of the National Day of Prayer (Oct. 21, 1970) proclaimed by President Nixon. In one of 20 religious services conducted by chaplains of the Americal Division, Chaplain (Capt.) Merle D. Brown uses a C-ration box as an altar while he reads from the Bible with men of the 11th Infantry Brigade's 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry.
Rev. Brown was killed in action in Vietnam on Easter Sunday, April 11, 1971.
Received Nov. 25, 1970 by Service to Military Personnel, American Lutheran Church.
ELCA Archives image.
Rest in peace with the warriors.
If I should die...remembrances for CFAPT. Merle Dewayne BROWN, USA...who made the ultimate sacrifice
Action Report from !st Bn 20th Infantry Web Site
April 11, 1971
The Battalion Chaplain and hot meal was drop off by resupply chaplain early in the day and at 1600hrs Alpha Company Resupply Ship Dolphin 21, ship #191 was returning to pick up cans and personnel, location 628523, 3rd Platoon while departing the 3rd Platoon field location, Dolphin 21 was hit by 1 M-79 round. The Aircrew attempted to fly the aircraft out of the LZ; however, he was hit by a second round of M-79 round which caused the aircraft to crash into the LZ and burn. The LZ then came under then came under a heavy volume of Small Arms Fire, M-79, B40, and machine gun fire, to the northeast, East, and South of the perimeter at a distance of 75-100 meters. As Alpha Company 3rd Platoon were assisting the aircraft crew and passengers in evacuating the aircraft, simultaneously personnel on the LZ started receiving hand grenades and satchel charges, time 1610hrs. Gun-ships requested at 1603hrs, on station at 1611hrs, Sharks 3 & 7 and Helix 37 on station at 1623hrs. Artillery Fire Mission called at 1930hrs and Dust Off 54 on station. The 3rd Platoon still receiving small arms fire at this time. The additional gun-ships Gun smoke 6, Warlord 34, 3, and 20 on station at 1710hrs. Helix 39 is on station at 1717hrs first air strike in at 1730hrs (4 sorties). Dust Off 54 picked up 7 men form Alpha Company Command Post inserted them into the 3rd Platoon location to assist them. At 1728hrs, Dust Off 54 extracted 6 US WIA to B Med. At 1740hrs Blue Ghost 27 is on station. Helix 39 put in another Air strike at 1820hrs (4 sorties). CA fleet 5 slicks, 1 AMC, on station 1825hrs. 1st platoon Bravo Company was picked up at LZ Liz at 1830hrs (26 packs) and inserted vicinity grid 628523 at 1847hrs. At 1900hrs Bravo Company 1st Platoon is on the ground at Alpha Company 3rd Platoon location, 628523 and are sweeping area. AMC took 15-20 rounds small arms fire from grid 617523 at 1840hrs gun ships expended on target with unknown results. Dolphin 21 crew and 2 US WIA extracted by Dolphin 6 at 1850hrs and at 1855hrs Helix 32 on station with air strikes (2 sorties). AMC broke station at 1904hrs. Shadow 61 is on station at 1950hrs. Helix 32 broke station at 2130hrs. Shark 3 and 7, Gun smoke 6 has broke station at 1915hrs Shadow 61 has broke station at 2145hrs. Contact was broken at 1650hrs. Results as of 0100 hour 12 April 71, are as follows: Friendly 11 US KIA (1-174th AVN Co, 9 Alpha Company 3rd Plat, 1 Battalion Chaplain,) 10 US WIA (1 Delta Company resupply, 9 Alpha Co 3rd Plat). Enemy: 2 NVA KIA, 1 AK-47 CIA. Friendly KIA CHAPLAIN BROWN, SSGT JEAN P. HUMBERT, SGT JAMES L. ARMSTRONG, SP4 JON M. MELIN, SP4 JACK P. BEGLEY, PFC DOUGLAS A. VARNER, PFC JOSEPH E. SCHOOLMEESTERS, PFC EDWARD P PILKINGTON, PFC RICHARD M. WARREN, PFC JOE R. SILVA, SP4 WAYNE CARLOS BAGGETT (174TH ARN CREW MENBER), ARE LISTED AS KHA. The founding personnel reported WHA Sgt Allen R. Barfield, Sgt Ananias McBride, PFC Earl R. Masburn, PFC Mark E Singleton, PFC Larry E. Foust, Sgt Donald H. Furr (Delta Company), SP4 Robert M. Fantone, PFC James P. Skelton, PFC John Lawson, SP4 Michael J. Carretti.
Web site address:
Chaplin Brown in Front of the 1st Bn. 20th Infantry Chapel
As it was Easter Sunday, Merle was in the field with the troops he loved providing to them the comfort of Easter Services.
A total of 11 men died that day. Merle, one on the helicopter crew, and 9 "Grunts" from Alpha Company.
No man has a greater love than to die for his friends. Merle loved his troops and died while spreading God's Love.
He truly was a Man of God.