The collection consists of military records and photographs of Alonza E. Brown, a African American who served in the U.S. Army during World War II. The collection includes his “Honorable Discharge” certificate (plus copy); “Separation Qualification Record” describing his military occupations (Engineer, Basic and Truck Driver, Heavy), training (Cooks School, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.), and civilian occupation (cook’s helper at Brown’s Restaurant in Philadelphia); and “Enlisted Record and Report of Separation” (plus copy) signed by Brown and with his thumb print, noting his service driving heavy trucks in Luzon and New Guinea, and being awarded the Good Conduct Medal, Philippines Liberation Ribbon, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal (with two bronze stars), and World War II Victory Medal. It includes a typed note dated 1947 indicating his reenlistment for up to five years. There is also a printed letter from President Truman, with facsimile signature, thanking Brown for his service. For Brown’s second period of service there is a panoramic photograph of the all-Black “Overseas Shipment Group Sailing on U.S.A.T. General Alexander M. Patch for Germany” taken at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, January 11, 1949, rolled and stored in the original mailing tube Brown sent to his mother; a photograph depicting two Black soldiers in row boats with two women and a young child; his “Honorable Discharge” certificate dated September 1950; and a negative copy of his “Report of Separation” indicating his service again as a truck driver and being awarded the Army of Occupation Medal.
Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.
The group photograph is currently closed to researchers pending conservation treatment.
Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.
Alonza E. Brown (1922-1993) was born in Newsome, Virginia. He later resided in Philadelpha, Pennsylvania and served in the U.S. Army from 1943-1945 and 1947-1950.
0.1 Cubic Feet (1 folder and 1 rolled photograph)
Purchased from the William Reese Company between 2020 and 2021.
The collection has been rehoused in an archival-quality boxes and folders.
Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository