The President of the United States,
takes pleasure in presenting the BRONZE STAR MEDAL (V) to
HOSPITALMAN 3RD CLASS MICHAEL J. BROWN
UNITED STATES NAVY
For service as set forth in the following
For conspicuous courage and compassion in action against the enemy as a Hospital Corpsman, Company M, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division during combat operations in the Republic of Vietnam. On 9-10 December 1966, HM3 Brown’s infantry company conducted combat operations near the Razorback in northern I Corps. At twilight on day two the enemy launched a major attack, which lasted past darkness. The attack resulted in 3 Marines killed and 17 wounded. The battle raged but throughout HM3 Brown demonstrated exceptionally bravery by repeatedly exposing himself to accurate and sustained enemy fire by advancing into killing zones to provide emergency medical treatment to wounded Marines and evacuating them to protected areas. Once darkness prevailed the company conducted a night movement to a helicopter landing zone about 1000 meters distance. It was a treacherous movement in rugged mountainous terrain and total darkness, but many of the wounded required emergency evacuation. The company arrived at the evacuation zone at dawn and evacuated the casualties. But about mid-morning on 10 December a tragic friendly fire mishap occurred. As the company conducted a river crossing it was accidently attacked by friendly aircraft and 500 pound bombs hit the company at the river crossing site. The scene was devastating; the company sustained 17 Killed and 12 Wounded in Action in seconds. It was reportedly the worst friendly fire incident of the Vietnam War. Instantly, two Corpsmen were killed and two seriously wounded. This resulted in 4 of the Company’s 7 Corpsmen having been killed or wounded. HM3 Brown immediately assessed the situation and provided expert medical care to many with critical or catastrophic wounds. HM3 Brown’s medical expertise was truly tested and he responded with incredible courage and compassion. By his faithful dedication, bold courage, and true compassion, HM3 Brown demonstrated exceptional bravery and reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
For the President
Secretary of the Navy