On Saturday, September 10, 2022, a Dedication Ceremony was held at the Clifton Riverfront Park in honor of Sgt. David Brown, originally of Clifton, who lost his life in a battle and gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
Per Sgt. Brown’s family’s sworn account, David Brown was born in a tent at the Ross Creek Inlet on the Tennessee River, which is located within the Clifton Riverfront Park. In his early years, David Brown attended Frank Hughes School in Clifton and was known throughout northern Wayne and Hardin County.
The Dedication Ceremony was a full military honors event, with both Waynesboro and Collinwood American Legion Posts participating. Guest Speaker will be Maj. Frank McCarthy, USMC (ret), Sgt. David Brown’s Platoon Leader in Vietnam (who recommended him for the medal of honor). Other speakers included Caldwell Davis , Shellee Harrison, sister of Sgt. David Brown, Chaplain Ron Durand, and Clifton City Manager Doug Kibbey.
Sgt. Brown’s platoon commander, Maj. Frank McCarthy, USMC (ret), the guest speaker at the event, wrote a book called “LIMA 3.” The book recounts Maj. McCarthy’s military history with Lima Company, which Brown was part of. Below is an excerpt from the book:
“Sgt. Brown was at Dong Ha getting ready for his transfer back to the States when he learned that the battalion had become heavily engaged with a division-minus-size NVA army unit thought to be part of the 324-B Division. The action erupted just south of Con Tien. According to Cpl. Schneider—and he should know; he was Sgt. Brown’s M79 grenadier—Brown had already turned in his equipment and weapon in preparation for his departure home. However, when he learned that the battalion was really catching hell at what became known as Ambush Valley, he returned to supply and calmly and coolly redrew his equipment and a weapon. Then he reported back to Lima Company, which had just completed another mission and was preparing to join the remainder of the battalion in the field..
“The worst news that I could possibly hear was that Sgt. David H. Brown, the barefoot warrior from Tennessee, my lead squad leader, and one of the finest young men I have ever met in my life, had been killed a few days earlier. Neither Cpl. Schneider nor I were able to control our emotions. I’ll admit I didn’t just shed a tear, I sobbed uncontrollably.”
The dedication of the Clifton Riverfront Park in honor of Sgt. Brown was a very powerful and poignant event. Sgt. Brown, “David,” was a humble man who did the unthinkable by rescuing his comrades in action and losing his own life as a result of his heroism.
Photos Courtesy of John Dumont