Olean combat veteran to get rare award for saving WWII history

Posted at 6:46 PM, Dec 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-06 10:18:40-05

World War II combat veteran Charles "Charlie" Brown from Olean is heading to the New York City area to receive a special military award called the "Ancient Order of St. Barbara."

The award is only given to members of U.S. military artillery units who have demonstrated exceptional service.

PFC Brown started service with the U.S. Army in 1943 and saw combat in Europe, before he was age 20, in places like Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge.

While he was not injured, the young soldier came face-to-face with death on several occasions as a member of the 258th Field Artillery Unit.

After the war, Charlie Brown brought home a large collection of wartime souvenirs - including wartime records for the 258th.

Those have been turned over the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. to replace WWII history that had been long-lost.

7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly spent the day with 94-year-old combat veteran who is scheduled to receive his special award this Friday December 7th - exactly 77 years since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor pushed American into the war and changed many lives.


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