U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Harold M. Brown, 20, of Winston-Salem, N.C., was born April 27, 1930 in Yadkin County. He joined the US Army in 1947 to fight in the Korean War and earned the rank of Sergeant First Class.
He was a member of the Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, and his awards included Purple Heart, Prisoner of War Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars, Navy Presidential Unit Citation, Combat Infantry Badge (Posthumous), United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Korea-Korean War Service Medal and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.
In late November 1950, Brown and elements of the 31st Regimental Combat Team, known as “Task Force Faith,” were advancing along the eastern banks of the Chosin Reservoir, in North Korea. After coming under attack, they began a fighting withdrawal to positions near Hagaru-ri, south of the reservoir. Brown was reported missing in action on Dec. 12, 1950.
In 1953, a returning American who had been held as a prisoner of war reported that Brown had been captured by Chinese forces and died shortly thereafter as a result of exposure to the elements. His remains were not recovered by American forces at that time, nor were they repatriated by the Chinese or North Koreans in “Operation Big Switch,” in 1954.
Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea gave the United States 208 boxes of remains believed to contain the remains of 200-400 U.S. service members. North Korean documents, turned over with some of the boxes, indicated that some of the human remains were recovered from the area where Sgt 1st Class Brown was last seen. His remains, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family.
His mother, Gertrude Brown Walker and step-father, Jesse Walker, are now both deceased.
Surviving are his aunt, Vetral Brown Gardner, Hamptonville, and several cousins.
The family received friends on Saturday, December 22, 2012 at Gentry Family Funeral Service in Yadkinville. Eulogies were read by US Army Sgt 1st Class Thomas Askew, and Lt. Col. David Hudspeth. Burial followed in Mountain Grove United Methodist Church Cemetery in Hamptonville with Full Military Honors by members of the US Army XVIII Airborne Corps from Ft. Bragg, NC.
Gentry Family Funeral Service of Yadkinville is serving the family. www.gentryfuneralservice.com