19 January 2013

Military Monday: Lewis Goes to War

While Lewis Brown was a newlywed, the Japanese attacked American ship anchored in Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. On 11 December 1941, Italy and Germany declared war on the United States of America and technically entered the country into the war. Thirteen months later, Lewis enlisted in the in the Army for WWII on 4 Jan 1943.


According to his  World War II Army Enlistment, Lewis had completed 4 years of high school. He was capable of semi-skilled occupations in building transportation equipment. Lewis was 69 inches tall and weighed 138 lbs. He received the serial number 35620761. He was a Technical Fourth Grade for the Headquarters 1304th Engineers Construction Battalion. 

He started receiving his first immunization shots on 12 January 1943. His immunizations would continue throughout his service in the war. The last shots for Typhus, Cholera and Smallpox were administered on 13 September 1945.

WWII Immunization Record for Lewis Brown
Scan of original, Immunization Record for
Lewis S Brown ~ World War II
 Several additional documents were found pertaining to Lewis' war service.

Stateside Fire Department, WWII
Scan of original, Record for Lewis S Brown
Scan of original, Record for Lewis S Brown
These records suggest that for a time, Lewis' Engineering Construction Battalion went to India. His discharge papers shared more information. He left for India on 29 Jun 1944 and arrived there on  8 Aug 1944. He left India on 12 Dec 1945 and arrived stateside on 3 Jan 1946.

At some point he earned a Stateside Fire Department certificate.

WWII Travel Log - Homebound
Time to go home!
WWII Travel Log - Homebound
Scan of original, Travel Log for Lewis S Brown
It looks like Bing Crosby's 1943 hit song, "I'll Be Home for Christmas" had great meaning for Lewis and Louise in 1945. Lewis passed Gibralter on December 25, 1945 headed the 3,210 mile trek to New York and then to Ohio. Although he wasn't home for Christmas, at least he was headed in the right direction.

 Thanks to his discharge papers, I learned a lot more about grandpa Lewis in the eyes of his military service. He was discharged on 7 Jan 1946. 

WWII Discharge Papers for Lewis Brown
Scan of original papers
Discharge Record for Lewis S Brown

His place of entry into the service as Ft. Thomas, Kentucky on  11 January 1943, after enlisting 7 days earlier in Columbus, Ohio. During is civilian live prior to the war, he was a Routeman. That's a fascinating term for delivery driver. 

He served in India-Burma and was specifically an Auto Parts Clerk. I wonder if that would have made his auto mechanic father proud? He was authorized to use a MKM M1 Rifle. He received the following medals: Good Conduct, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Stars, and the World War II Victory Medal. 

WWII Discharge Papers for Lewis Brown
Scan of original
Discharge Paper for Lewis S Brown


Grandpa's total length of service was 1 year 5 months and 22 days; most of which was served in India.
He received no wounds during the war campaign, presumably to the relief of his wife of so short a time.

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