One of the stories I was often told when I was growing up is that when I was a baby my Uncle Arthur would put my diapers in one pocket, my bottles in another pocket and take me when he visited his girlfriend. I always loved hearing that but couldn't quite picture it -- my uncle was a BIG man, both in height and weight. I just could not envision him holding, much less traveling with something as small as a baby.
When my Uncle Arthur made transition and I requested time off for his funeral and to be with family, my supervisor asked if he had had any children. My immediate response was "Yes, me and my brothers." One thing my brothers and I knew with certainty was that Uncle Arthur loved us.
I started this post on March 7, 2019 but put it aside, saving it as a draft. My intention was to post it by March 23 which is Uncle Arthur's birth date. In all of my family history posts I try to listen to the ancestors -- I firmly believe that they guide us.
As with each ancestor, I know that what I post isn't the whole story. I was certain that Uncle Arthur never married and never had children. After all, I grew up knowing him and if either were the case I would have known. And so I noted in his records that he never married and had no descendants. On Father's Day weekend 2019, I was happily proved wrong -- at least about his having no descendants.
I manage my mother's dna results on 23andMe -- my mother, Evelyn, is Uncle Arthur's baby sister. On June 14th my mother's account received an invitation to connect from someone who is her niece!
I quickly responded. My new-found first cousin and I established that she is the daughter of my Uncle Arthur, born while he was stationed in Germany during World War II.
On February 21, 1946 Arthur Brown was enlisted into the U.S. Army, Quartermaster Corps. His enlistment was from February 21, 1946 to August 22, 1949. (Source: U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946)
In 2015, I had requested his military records from the National Archives National Personnel Records Center and received the form letter that "The complete Official Military Personnel File for the veteran named above is not in our files. If the record were here on July 12, 1973, it would have been in the area that suffered the most damage in the fire on that date and may have been destroyed. The fire destroyed the major portion of records of Army personnel who separated from the service between 1912 through 1959 . . ."
"We have located a file created during our reconstruction attempts for the veteran named in your request." From that file I able to confirm that his unit was the 511th Military Police Platoon. At some point he was stationed at the Heidelberg Military Post in Weddewarden Germany. Unfortunately the file I received was both limited in information and the copies were of poor condition.
|From the military scrapbook of Arthur Brown, circa 1947|
This post took a slightly different turn, but it's okay -- actually more than okay. Thank you, Uncle Arthur, for the belated family gift of your daughter!