Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (10 & 11 December 2014)

Date of Auction: 10th & 11th December 2014

Sold for £980

Estimate: £700 - £900

A fine Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star group of fourteen awarded to Colonel J. Trimble Brown, United States Army

Silver Star, edge numbered, ‘86419’; Legion of Merit, Legionnaire’s breast badge, gilt and enamel, reverse engraved in script, ‘J. T. Brown’; Bronze Star, reverse engraved in script, ‘J. Trimble Brown’; Army Commendation Medal, reverse engraved in script, ‘J. Trimble Brown’; American Defense Sevice Medal; American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, silver star on ribbon; Victory Medal 1945; Army of Occupation Medal, 1 clasp, Germany; National Defense Service Medal; Pennsylvania, Distinguished Service Medal, gilt and enamel; Japan, Order of the Sacred Treasure, 3rd Class neck badge, silver, silver-gilt and enamel; France, Military Volunteer Service Cross, 1st Class, gilt, with rosette on ribbon; Italy, War Merit Cross, V.E.III.; together with U.S.A. Combat Infantryman First Award metal badge; another pin-backed badge and 9th and 36th Division cloth badges, medals and badges mounted on a board for display, nearly extremely fine (18) £700-900


Silver Star citation: ‘For gallantry in action on 24 December 1943 in the vicinity of Mount Sammucro, Italy. Colonel Brown was commanding 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry, with a mission to seize and hold the mountainous terrain overlooking the vital village of San Vittore, Italy. The terrain was rocky, offered little cover, and every position was well known to the enemy. Under constant and accurate artillery, mortar and small arms fire, he moved into the forward areas in order to personally co-ordinate the attack. With utter disregard for his personal safety and thinking only of the efficiency and effectiveness of his command, he calmly but aggressively made reconnaissance, directed communications, provided for a reserve, planned protective fires and laid plans against counterattack. Colonel Brown guided the attack and subsequent consolidation of new positions with such superior ability, that a later attack was successful in seizing the final objective. His gallant action reflects great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.’

Legion of Merit citation: ‘Colonel J. Trimble Brown (then Lieutenant Colonel) while Commanding Officer, Special Troops, 36th Division, performed exceptionally meritorious service during the period 11 January to 21 July 1944 in the Italian Campaign. With foresight, energy, efficiency, and skill, he performed his assigned duties in such a manner as to make an outstanding contribution to the combat success of the 36th Division.’

Bronze Star citation: ‘For exceptional performance of duty as an infantry battalion commander and the executive officer of an infantry regiment in the 9th Infantry Division from November, 1941, to July 1, 1942. Lieutenant Colonel Brown has been an outstanding leader in the 9th Infantry Division in the development of the technique of landing on a hostile shore. By his industry, resourcefulness, aggressiveness, intelligence and loyalty, Lieutenant Colonel Brown has contributed greatly to the success of his regiment and division in mastering the highly technical details of amphibious training.’

Italy, War Merit Cross citation: ‘By an outstanding spirit of co-operation he contributed to the organisation and dispositions involved in the substitution in the American positions of Mignano (Italy) of units of the Italian Army. The succeeding operations executed could, therefore, be carried out without needless losses in the units, notwithstanding the violent infantry and artillery fire and the attacks of the Germans.’

J. Trimble Brown was born in St. Davids, Pennsylvania, on 15 August 1902. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve on 27 October 1924 and was appointed to that rank in the regular army on 30 June 1926. Employed as Aide-de-Camp to Major-General Fox Connor, 1928-38, he was advanced to Major in January 1941, Lieutenant-Colonel in February 1942, and Colonel in December 1942. He was in command of the 39th Infantry Regiment from November 1942 but was relieved of his command and demoted to Major in June 1943 after his H.Q. was overrun and secret papers were captured in the fighting south of the Kassarine Pass in Tunisia. The following month Brown regained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and during October 1943-January 1944 commanded the 141st Infantry Battalion which saw action in Italy. During January-November 1944 he commanded Special Troops of the 36th Infantry Division, serving at Anzio, the advance to Rome, and later, the landing in Southern France. For his military services in Italy he was awarded the Silver Star, Legion of Merit and Italian War Merit Cross. For other wartime services he was awarded the Bronze Star and French Military Volunteer Service Cross.

Post-war he served as Training Officer firstly in the Texan and then in the Pennsylvanian National Guard. Promoted once more to Colonel in 1950, he served in various senior capacities with the Far East Command in Japan, 1950-53, including that of Chief of Intelligence. For his services he was awarded the Japanese Order of the Sacred Treasure. Lastly, during 1954-56 he served as Deputy Chief of the Pennsylvania Military District. Retiring from the Army and that post in 1956 he was awarded the Army Certificate for Outstanding Service and the Pennsylvanian Distinguished Service Medal.

Sold with several original letters to Colonel Brown, and a quantity of copied documents and photographs, including: service record; citations and related papers; two original 36th Infantry Division posters (torn); a military map; and an album entitled, ‘Colonel J. Trimble Brown This is Your Life’ - containing amusing ink sketches of his military service, numerous photographs of Brown in military uniform, and newspaper clippings re. the presentation of the Pennsylvanian D.S.M.

This lot is sold as seen and is not subject to return. Please see saleroom notice on lot 280 for fuller details.