Lifelong friends Jack Morton (left) and Clayton Brown (right) pose for a photo together. Source: Edward Gekosky Collection.
Thomas "Frank" Marion (left) Clayton Brown (center) and Patrick Farino (right) on Bougainville in 1944. Brown and Farino are displaying their recently awarded Purple Hearts. Source: Patrick Farino Collection.
Clayton Brown, nicknamed “Brownie,” joined Company G late in 1943 on Fiji. Brown and Jack Morton were both from Oregon, and went through Basic Training together at Fort Ord, California. They can be seen in Photo #1, with Brown at left. Both men joined the 182nd in the Pacific and were assigned to the 2nd Platoon, “Roy’s Raiders.” Brown was eventually assigned to an ordnance unit, but during the battle for Hill 260, he rejoined Company G, and was involved in numerous firefights, including a fake Japanese surrender on March 20. He was wounded on March 21, but remained in the fight. After the fighting ended, according to Morton, Brown tried to take off his combat boots, but after so many continuous days in the damp jungle without being removed, they had become stuck to the bottom of his feet. The skin was pulled off when he took the boots off, and he was forced to crawl down the hill for medical assistance. After recovering, he returned to the supply unit he had been assigned to. Morton and Brown remained lifelong friends in Oregon. Brown passed away in 2009.