Obituary Listings

CPL William Lee Brown

November 6, 1932 November 1, 2019
CPL William Lee Brown
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Obituary for CPL William Lee Brown

The Benton, IL native, was killed Saturday, December 2, 1950 in fierce fighting between United Nation coalition troops and Chinese forces in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea.
Cpl Brown enlisted in the U. S. Army on April 5, 1950 at the age of 18. He served with Company B, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division.
Cpl Brown was part of a 30,000-member United Nations Command military force that found itself surrounded by about 120,000 Chinese troops in the Chosin Reservoir campaign.
From Nov. 27 to Dec. 13, 1950, both forces clashed in a 17-day battle fought in rugged terrain and brutally cold weather. His remains could not be recovered following the battle and he was listed as Missing in Action for almost 70 years.
On July 27, 2018, following the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in June 2018, North Korean officials agreed to turn over 55 boxes, purported to contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War.
The remains were turned over to officials at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii on Aug. 1, 2018, and were accessioned into the DPAA laboratory for identification.
To identify CPL Brown’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, and circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA, Y-chromosome DNA and autosomal DNA analysis.
The U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency notified his sister, Dr. Clarice Burchell on Oct. 19, 2019, that William’s remains had been identified after nearly seven decades.
He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Republic of Korea War Service Medal by the Republic of South Korea and numerous other military medals.
Cpl Brown was born on November 6, 1932 in Sesser, Illinois to William Faye and Mary Marguerite (Lasley) Brown.
Left to cherish his memory are his sisters, Dr. Clarice Burchell, TH.D. of Marion, Margie Lou Brown; niece, Robyn Lynn Brummett of Thayer, MO; nephew, Paul Michael (Lori) Burchell of Marion.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Lillian Ruth Brown.
Graveside services with full military honors are pending. Interment will be in Mounds National Cemetery at Mounds, IL.


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