S.E. Michigan
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Donald R. Brown
War: World War II
Branch: Army Infantry
Unit: 20th Armored Division
Highest Rank: PFC
Birth Year: 1925


Donald Brown volunteered for the draft after one and a half years at Harvard. He was feeling guilty about being one of the few young men in his community in upstate New York not serving. Shortly after entering, he was put into the ASTP program and given a choice of which college he wanted to go to for his studies. He chose Indiana State. He met his wife there.

Eventually he was assigned to a Medical Unit of the 20th Armored Division, and was sent to Europe. After many months of minor skirmishes, his Unit was in a major battle outside of Munich, where there were many casualties. On May 1, 1945, his Unit was sent to Dachau near Munich, "before it was cleaned up for the Tourists." The sights were never to be forgotten.

After V-E Day, his Unit was to be sent to the Pacific. On one of the train trips through France he was told to go up to one of the front cars. He chose to stay with his Unit, which turned out to be life saving. The first four cars of the train were completely destroyed in a wreck.

While on furlough, just prior to being sent to the Pacific, he got married, and of course soon after the Japanese surrendered. Donald spent 13 years teaching at Berkley after having completed his studies. At Berkley, he was eventually fired because he refused to sign a loyalty type of agreement. He went to Bryn Mawr and in 1964 began teaching in the Psychology Department at the University of Michigan, where he retired in 1997. He currently lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan and teaches a class on WWII at the University.