Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Arthur Bruhus Papers, 1941-1945

Duane Norman Diedrich Collection

Finding aid created by
Marvin Brandwin and Meg Hixon, August 2012

Summary Information
Title: Arthur Bruhus papers
Creator: Bruhus, Anna
Inclusive dates: 1941-1945
Bulk dates: 1943-1945
Extent: 1 linear foot
The Arthur Bruhus papers primarily contain incoming and outgoing letters and greeting cards that Sergeant Bruhus wrote and received while serving in the United States Army during World War II. Bruhus described his everyday life at military camps in Maryland and Texas between January 1943 and April 1945 and his service in France between April 1945 and September 1945.
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:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Donated by D. N. Diedrich, 2008. M-4668.4.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


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:

Arthur Bruhus Papers, Duane Norman Diedrich Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged in the following series:

  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Photographic Negatives
  • Series III: Printed Items and Ephemera

Each collection is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Arthur Bruhus was born in Illinois around 1907, the son of Anna Bruhus. He had at least two sisters, Mabel and Esther. Bruhus worked at a gas station in Palatine, Illinois, before joining the United States Army around 1943. In the army, Bruhus received successive promotions to private first class and sergeant. He served in the 532nd Heavy Maintenance Tank Company (HMTK), as an engineer with the 3rd and 4th Army's 11th Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, and with Company C of the 605th Engineer Battalion. His work included the operation of radio-controlled planes used for target practice by antiaircraft units. He was stationed at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland; Camp Claiborne, Louisiana; Fort Knox, Kentucky; Camp Barkeley, Texas; Camp Wolters, Texas; and Fort Bliss, Texas, until April 1945, when he was deployed to France. He remained in France until September 1945, when he returned to the East Coast.

Arthur Bruhus's sister, Mabel Bruhus Tyssen lived with her husband, Oscar A. Tyssen, and daughter, Jane Tyssen, in Des Plaines, Illinois, during the war. His other sister, Esther Bruhus Mathews, lived in Lincoln, Illinois, with her husband, Richard Mathews, and their two children, Dorothy and Richard, Jr. Arthur Bruhus also corresponded with his next-door neighbors, Adolph and Alma Kunze, and with Dell and Mayme B. Rogan of Libertyville, Illinois.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This Arthur Bruhus papers contain over 200 incoming and outgoing letters and greeting cards that Sergeant Arthur Bruhus wrote and received while serving in the United States Army during World War II. Bruhus described his everyday life at military camps in Maryland and Texas between January 1943 and April 1945 and his service in France between April 1945 and September 1945. The collection also includes negatives for 24 photographs and 13 printed and ephemeral items.

The Correspondence series is comprised of letters, greeting cards, V-mail, and postcards. Arthur Bruhus wrote approximately 175 letters to his mother, Anna Bruhus of Palatine, Illinois, during his time in the military. Bruhus served at several domestic military bases throughout the war, and frequently described his travel between camps and during furloughs, his first impressions upon arrival, the surrounding scenery, and nearby cities (particularly in Texas). While stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, he occasionally visited Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Bruhus also discussed camp life and, to a lesser extent, his military assignments. After undergoing radio training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, in June 1943, he worked with radio-controlled planes used for target practice. In November 1943, he noted Camp Barkeley's use of German prisoners of war for manual labor (November 12, 1943). Bruhus was deployed to France in April 1945 and served at Épernay until his return to the United States in 1945. While in France, he commented on the scenery and everyday activities. In one letter he recounted his experiences on V-E Day (May 25, 1945). He enclosed church programs in two letters. His final letter to his mother is dated September 4, 1915.

Bruhus also corresponded with his sisters, nieces and nephews, and acquaintances (about 25 incoming and outgoing letters). Anna Bruhus received several letters from her grandchildren.

The Photographic negatives series is made up film negatives for 24 photographs of unidentified military barracks, soldiers, camouflaged tents, and group exercises.

The 13 items in the Printed items and ephemera series include advertisements, programs, and an issue of the Camp Barkeley News (May 12, 1944).

Subject Terms

    • Aberdeen Proving Ground (Md.)
    • Abilene (Tex.)--Description and travel.
    • Camp Claiborne (La.)
    • Ciudad Juárez (Mexico)--Description and travel.
    • Epernay (France)
    • Families of military personnel--United States.
    • Fort Bliss (Tex.)
    • Fort Knox (Ky.)
    • Fort Wolters (Tex.)
    • Soldiers--Religious life.
    • Texas--Description and travel.
    • United States. Army. Army, 4th.
    • United States. Army. Combat Engineer Battalion, 605th.
    • United States. Army--Military life.
    • United States. Army. Ordnance (HMTK) Company, 532nd.
    • V-E Day, 1945.
    • Vehicles, remotely piloted.
    • World War, 1939-1945--Censorship--United States.
    • World War, 1939-1945--France.
    • World War, 1939-1945--United States.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Flowers.
    • Fort Wolters (Tex.)
    • Matthews, Richard.
    • Tyssen, Jane Bruhus, Anna.
    Genre Terms:
    • Greeting cards.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Negatives (photographic)
    • Negatives.
    • Notes.
    • Postcards.
    • Programs (documents)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Correspondence [series]
    Box   1 Folders   1-10
     January 5, 1943-June 16, 1944
    Box   2 Folders   1-8
     June 21, 1944-October 23, 1945, and  undated
    Photographic Negatives [series]
    Box   2 Folder   9
    Printed Items and Ephemera [series]
    Box   2 Folders   10-11
     February 20, 1943-May 12, 1944, and  undated
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    This collection arrived at the William L. Clements Library with the Arthur Richard Roussin correspondence, but no connection between the two soldiers has been found.