SALEM - Hubert Brown, a World War II veteran, will lead this year's Salem Memorial Day parade as honorary parade marshal.
Brown was nominated and then selected for the honor by the Salem Memorial and Patriotic Association in recognition of his service to the United States.
Brown was born in West Virginia and had never seen the ocean. But in October, 1942, he enlisted in the Navy and soon discovered what he was in for. After completion of basic, he volunteered for submarine duty. After completing sea trials in the Atlantic he saw action in the Pacific Theater. He was a torpedo man third class aboard the submarine U.S.S. Pampanito.
During one patrol, Brown's submarine hit an enemy ship with seven of nine torpedoes launched. He described the exploding enemy ships as "the most spectacular sight I have ever seen."
Numerous times his sub was the target of depth charges. During one such attack his submarine sustained severe damage and had to dive to 600 feet below the surface to evade the enemy.
The submarine, only qualified for a depth of 400 feet, emitted horrific sounds. Brown and the crew thought surely they would be crushed from the ocean's pressure.
Luckily the enemy thought they had destroyed the sub and eventually they were able to surface and return to port where major repairs were completed.
After 40 months of service, Brown was honorably discharged on Christmas 1945. He returned to Salem and worked for Hines Garage.
Brown, along with Richard Zeigler, formed a partnership and operated the Brown and Zeigler's Sohio station at the
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corner of East State and Southeast Boulevard for 30 years.
Brown and his late wife, Dorothy, were married for 62 years. They raised their family in Salem and were involved in many activities.
Brown turned 92 in April. He still drives and walks daily at the Salem Community Center and Centennial Park. He stated that he was surprised by his nomination and selection and is proud to serve as the parade marshal.
The day commences with a free breakfast at 8 a.m. at the Memorial Building at 785 E. State St. for all veterans and invited guests participating in the parade. A city-wide memorial service begins at 9 a.m. on the Village Green at the southeast corner of Lincoln and State Street.
The line-up for the parade is at 9:30 a.m. on South Broadway Avenue.
The parade steps out at 10 a.m. and proceeds to State Street, Lincoln Avenue, to Hope Cemetery. The formal ceremony at the cemetery with full military honors begins at approximately 11 a.m.
In the event of inclement weather, the memorial service will be conducted at the Kent State University City Center at 230 N. Lincoln Ave. For more information contact 330-332-9810 or firstname.lastname@example.org.