William Drane Brown, USN

Born  21 Oct 1902Punta Gorda, Florida, USA
Died  11 Jan 1991(88)Gainesville Medical Center Hospital, Florida, USA


1 Oct 1938 Lt.Cdr.
17 Jul 1942 T/Cdr.
1 Jun 1943 T/Capt.


Warship Commands listed for William Drane Brown, USN

USS Gregory (i) (APD 3)Lt.Cdr.Destroyer4 Nov 194013 Dec 1941 (1)
USS Nicholas (DD 449)Lt.Cdr.Destroyer4 Jun 194226 Jan 1943

Career information

RAdm. William Drane Brown USN (Ret.) was a graduate of Annapolis and had distinguished record commanding submarines and destroyers in WW2. He was born in Punta Gorda, Florida on 21 October 1902. He attended Duval High School and the Marion Institute, Marion, Ala. before being appointed to the Naval Academy from the State of Florida. While at the academy, he played lacrosse and varsity football. He appeared in the 1923 Rose Bowl game.

Graduated and commissioned ensign on 24 June 1924 he reported to MISSISSIPPI. After a two year tour he reported to submarine training and was assigned to S-17. Then came postgraduate school at the Naval Academy and further orders to the Naval Training Station, San Diego. In July 1933 he was ordered to the Asiatic Station in S-28 as Executive, and then Commanding Officer. Duty at the Naval Academy in the Marine Engineering Department was followed by sea duty as Executive Officer in SELFRIDGE. He then outfitted GREGORY, a fast transport, and commanded her until January, 1942. Next he outfitted and commanded NICHOLAS. February 1943 he reported as Chief of Staff and Aide to ComCruDiv 12. He met and served under Admiral Nimitz, Admiral Halsey and General Douglas McArthur.

Later serving as Operations Officer and Senior Aide to the Commander of a task force he was awarded, by Secretary of the Navy Knox, the Legion of Merit and Gold Star in lieu of the second Legion of Merit, and a Bronze Star for action covering the period March to November 1943. The citation, in part, states ...Captain Brown's brilliant operational planning and bold judgement contributed materially to the protection of our beachhead at Empress Augusta Bay...establishment of our land and air forces on Bougainville Island. Captain Brown cited - In addition to engaging a Japanese task force of superior fire power and sinking or damaging nine of the enemy's warships, the task force successfully fought off a deadly attack by 67 hostile bombers, shooting down 17 and repelling the others. [Solomon Islands Area from October 30 to November 2, 1943]

RAdm. Brown detached in January 1944 for duty at Headquarters, CinCUSFlt, Wash.,D.C. One year later he reported as ComDesRon 62, serving with Task Forces 38 and 58. Following tours were as Chief of Staff and Aide, ComDesPacFlt Commanding Officer, Naval Mine Countermeasures Station, Panama City, Fla. Commanding Officer, MISSOURI ComSubGru 5 and SCO of Florida Group Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

RAdm. Brown retired from active duty on June 30, 1955. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, with Gold Star in lieu of a second award with combat "V", The Bronze Star with Gold Star in lieu of second award, the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp, the Phillipine Liberation Medal, the American Defense Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal. RAdm. William D. Brown died 11 January 1991 at the Gainesville Florida Medical Center Hospital. Interment with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery on 28 January. Resource: United States Naval Academy Alumni Association November 1991

Text Submitted by "Pappa Bill's" grandson, Will R. Shaw" on November 12, 2013

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