MS 984 - Byron Armbruster World War II Papers
|Title||MS 984 - Byron Armbruster World War II Papers|
The Byron Armbruster World War II Papers consist of original letters and V-mail written to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Armbruster, Napoleon, Ohio, and his girlfriend who became his wife when he returned from Europe, Eloise Higgins. Also included in the correspondence are a few letters written by other soldiers and people in England to both the Armbrusters and Eloise. The letters date from July 1943 to July 1945. The collection also includes photocopies of two scrapbooks kept by Byron while in the military service.
The collection was donated by Mr. Armbruster on August 4, 2003. Transcriptions of the letters are available on the Center for Archival Collection's web site and no restrictions exist on the research use of the collection.
Byron Armbruster was born on February 19, 1914, to Christ and Anna Armbruster, in Napoleon, Ohio. He had been working at the Louden Packing Company in Napoleon, at the time he enlisted in March 1942. He was first attached to the 82nd Airborne Division, then to the 139th Airborne Engineer Battalion, and then to the 101st Airborne. He was first stationed at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, transferring to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, until September 1943. The Division was shipped to England in preparation of the Allied invasion. On June 6, 1944, Byron took part in the Allied invasion of Europe at Normandy, having been transported on the USS Susan B. Anthony to Utah Beach. He was then transferred back to England until December 1944 when he was sent to Belgium. There, he and his battalion took part in the Battle of Bastogne when Germany tried one last offense against the Allied lines. His battalion continued into Germany and he was at Berchtesgaden when Germany surrendered. He then was sent to Austria and finally returned to the United States and was discharged in September 1945. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart (received shrapnel wounds causing blindness in one eye), the Presidential Citation and the Croix de Guerre.
Byron married Eloise Higgins in October 1945, and they had one son, Timothy. After Eloise's death, Bryon married Rozella Hoff. He is retired from Campbell Soup Company and still resides in Napoleon, Ohio.
|Scope and Content|
The Byron Armbruster World War II Papers are a remarkable collection of letters written to his parents and also to his girlfriend and later, his wife, Eloise Higgins. They are remarkable as they detail the life of a soldier in the 82nd, and later the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army, as he is trained, transferred to England, sent to Normandy for the D-Day Allied invasion, returned to England, sent to Belgium for what would become known as the Battle of Bastogne, and ends at Berchtesgaden when Germany surrenders. Although many of his letters are censored V-mail, they still provide excellent documentation of the war in Europe.
In addition to the letters he wrote home, the collection includes letters written to his parents from other soldiers, letters written to Eloise from an English woman who married a good friend of Byron's while stationed in England, and a letter Byron wrote to the parents of a friend who died at Normandy. All of the letters date from 1943 to 1945.
Photocopies of scrapbooks kept by Byron are also part of the collection. These scrapbooks include photographs, official documents and newspaper articles, all of which help document his World War II experiences.
SCRAPBOOKS AND SCRAPBOOK MATERIAL