Held by The Filson Historical Society
Creator: Douglass, Jack G.
Title: Letters, 1946-1949
Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Curator of Special Collections.
Size of Collection: 0.33 cubic feet
Location Number: Mss./A/D733
Scope and Content Note
The Jack G. Douglass letters are generally of a romantic nature, sent from Jack G. Douglass to Mildred “Millie” Burress, almost entirely while he was stationed in Allied-occupied Germany after World War II. There is one letter from his time spent at Carlisle Barracks, Penn., training and two from 1948 while visiting his brother in Evanston, Ill., while on leave. All other letters were sent throughout 1949 from Germany with one letter sent to Burress by a friend of Douglass’s, Francis Stutman.
Douglass and Burress met and dated while at Fort Knox, Ky., as referenced in the first letter from 18 August 1946. During a lapse in letters, Douglass apparently completed training and then joined Allied Occupation forces in Germany. He also is married for two years to an American woman, “Isabelle,” before she divorces him. The next letter to Burress is sent while on leave on 4 November 1948 from his brother’s home in Evanston, Ill., and explains his divorce and current situation. They continue from this point as he writes to her from his post in Munich, Germany, as Post Safety Director. Letters generally relate his travels, the weather, working, and fishing and hunting trips. Much of the content of the letters is devoted to convincing Burress to find employment overseas and of his desire to see her again so that they might plan a future. They arrange for her to visit him in Germany in July 1949 and the letters end on 11 July 1949. There are some labeled photographs of sights from a trip he took to Italy in 1949, as well as a photo of the pair seated together with his friends, the Stutmans, from 1949 in Garmisch, Germany.
According to the Social Security Death Index, a Jack G. Douglass was born on 2 October 1914 and died 9 July 1992; which corresponds with his mention in a 1949 letter that he was aged 34 at the time. A relevant United States World War II Army Enlistment Record indicates that Douglass was born in Colorado and enlisted as a Private in July 1942 in Kalamazoo, Mich.
His letters mention that he was stationed at Fort Knox in Ky. in 1946. He later attended the School for Government Occupied Areas at Carlisle, Barracks, Pa., where he took a three-week course in order to be sent to the Eastern Theater of Operations by 10 September 1946. By1948 he was stationed in Munich, Germany, as a civilian with a CAF 11 rating and as the Munich Military Post Safety Director. He had an unnamed brother living in Evanston, Illinois, at this time. He was also married to a woman named Isabelle between the years of 1946 and 1949 for a two-year span and he says the divorce was published in Chicago newspapers.
Mildred Burress was born 10 August 1909 in Campbellsville, Ky., and died 22 December 2001. She worked at Fort Knox in Kentucky during World War II, and then returned to her home in Campbellsville. It is understood from the letters that she met Jack Douglass while they were both at Fort Knox. His letters also show that he convinced her to visit him in July 1949, often countering obvious trepidation, and while a photo proves that she made the trip, no letters are sent after this point.
Social Security Death Index.
United States World War II Army Enlistment Records.
Folder 1: Letters, August 1946, November 1948-March 1949
Folder 2: Letters, March-April 1949
Folder 3: Letters, April-May 1949
Folder 4: Letters, June-July 1949
Burress, Mildred, 1909-2001
Military occupation – Germany – World War, 1939-1945
Germany – Munich – History – 20th century
United States. Army. Forces in the European Theater
United States. Army. Military life
World War, 1939-1945 – Germany