William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
Finding aid created by
Melvin Brown Letters, 1944-1945
Meg Hixon, December 2011
Melvin Brown letters
This collection consists primarily of letters that Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Brown wrote to his wife Louise while serving at the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Forces during World War II. The letters, which most frequently discuss the couple's two sons and Brown's desire to return home, also offer insight into his views on the role of the United States military following the war.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.
Melvin Brown Letters, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
The collection is arranged chronologically.
Lieutenant Colonel Melvin C. Brown served at the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Forces during the final two years of World War II. Prior to his departure for Europe in September 1943, he was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. His wife Louise and their two sons, Bruce and Buster (b. 1943), lived in Lampasas, Texas, while he was in Europe.
Collection Scope and Content Note
This collection consists primarily of 17 letters that Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Brown wrote to his wife Louise while serving at the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Forces during World War II. The letters, which most frequently discuss the couple's two sons and Brown's desire to return home, also offer insight into his views on the role of the United States military following the war. The collection also has a letter to Melvin Brown from the Prudential Insurance Company.
Melvin Brown wrote 17 letters to his wife in September 1944 and between April and September 1945. He addressed his letters to "Louise and Sonnies" and signed himself "Daddy B." In his letters, Brown expressed his affection for his family, shared his amusement after hearing stories of the boys' games, and discussed his regret at being absent for his sons' early years. He also commented on finances and the possibility of purchasing an insurance policy to fund his sons' education.
Brown was stationed in Paris after the conclusion of hostilities in Europe and often visited the nearby countryside, where he saw the effects of the war (April 17, 1945). His letter of August 6, 1945, encloses 5 photographs of a picnic held at a château. Occasionally, Brown mentioned his political opinions and his thoughts about the end of the war and the "strange peace proceedings in the Pacific" (August 19, 1945). On August 26, 1945, he wrote about the atomic bomb, suggesting that it might fulfill the apocalyptic stories of H. G. Wells, and expressed his hope that the United States would not return to isolationist politics after the war. One printed letter, addressed to Melvin C. Brown by the Prudential Insurance Company, relates to an insurance check sent directly to Louise Brown (April 3, 1945).
- Allied Forces. Supreme Headquarters.
- Families of military personnel--United States.
- France--Description and travel.
- Paris (France)--Description and travel.
- United States. Army--Military life.
- World War, 1939-1945--France.
- Brown, Melvin C.
- Prudential Insurance Company of America.
- Letters (correspondence)