Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Melvin Brown Letters, 1944-1945

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, December 2011

Summary Information
Title: Melvin Brown letters
Creator: Brown, Louise
Inclusive dates: 1944-1945
Extent: 18 items
Abstract:
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.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2004. M-4409.2.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

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.

Preferred Citation:

Melvin Brown Letters, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically.


Biography

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).

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • 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.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Picnics.
    Contributors:
    • Brown, Melvin C.
    • Prudential Insurance Company of America.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Snapshots.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   12, World War II Small Collections  
    Melvin Brown letters [series]
    Folders   7-10  
     September 10, 1944-September 15, 1945