Drafted by the Army twice, Joseph Brown had two widely disparate experiences in the military. He graduated from high school in June 1945 and went into the Army during the final days of World War II, suffering degrading conditions at a Texas base where he and other blacks were subject to inferior accommodations. In 1950, he was called to serve again in Korea, but this time, he was assigned to an elite unit and attended leadership school. Because Brown had been a pre-med student in college, he was asked to supervise a medical unit; he even had some white soldiers under his command with the 74th Engineer Combat Battalion, Medical Detachment. In only five years, the Army had changed, moving, in Brown’s view, more quickly to integrate its ranks than the civilian world. “During the Korean War, the black soldier began to be accepted on an equal basis as a combat soldier.”
We honor you, Joseph Brown.