KIANOVEMBER 03, 1977 - AUGUST 6, 2011HOME OF RECORD: TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA
On August 6, 2011, Technical Sergeant Daniel L. Zerbe, Technical Sergeant John W. Brown, both pararescuemen, and Staff Sergeant Andrew W. Harvell, a combat controller, assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, 724th Special Tactics Group, were killed when their coalition CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed in Maiden Wardak Province in eastern Afghanistan. They were among twenty-five Special Operations Command operators who died in the crash, which also took the lives of five Army Reserve Soldiers, seven Afghan commandos and one civilian interpreter.
Technical Sergeant Brown was born in Sacramento, California and graduated from Siloam Springs Senior High School, Arkansas in 1996. After graduation, Brown attended college at John Brown University, Arkansas and later at Chipoia Junior College, Florida.
He enlisted in the Air Force and arrived at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas in March 2002. After graduating from Basic Military Training, he entered the pararescue training pipeline, and upon graduating was assigned to the 38th Rescue Squadron, Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.
Shortly after his arrival at the squadron, Sergeant Brown completed the first of what would total eight deployments in support of the Global War on Terror. He was also one of the first responders in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
In May 2006, Brown was assigned to the 31st Rescue Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, where he conducted numerous exercises and combat search and rescue alerts in the Pacific theater. In April 2009, Brown was reassigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron.
Brown’s military awards included the Bronze Star Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Purple Heart, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Aerial Achievement Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal, and the Air Force Combat Action Medal.