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About Albert Brown

About the author: Albert N. Brown (October 26, 1905 – August 14, 2011)

According to Jan Thompson,

Albert N. Brown was born in North Platte, Nebraska in 1905. A neighbor and family friend Wild Bill Cody was his god-father. He was graduate of the school of dentistry at Creighton University. He set up a practice in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He was married and the father of three children when he was called to duty by the Reserve Officers Training Corps which he had been a member for years. He was ordered o the Philippines and was Captain of the Dental Corps. After the fall of Bataan he survived the Death March and spent three and a half years in several infamous prisons including Cap O’Donnell, Cabanatuan and Bilibid. He traveled on a “hell ship” to Japan was placed in a prison in Hokido where he stayed until the end of the war and the surrender of Japan.

At the time of his death, Brown was the oldest survivor of the Bataan Death March. An obituary in the Washington Post, August 16, 2011, contained additional information on the author:

Released in September 1945, Dr. Brown spent two years recuperating in a hospital in Denver. His back and neck did not heal properly, and he left dentistry because his wounds prevented him from working properly. For a time, he owned and rented property in Los Angeles.

Dr. Brown and his wife separated after the war, and he lived much of his life with his daughter in Pinckneyville, Ill.

Albert Neir Brown was born Oct. 26, 1905, in North Platte, Neb., and grew up in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He was a 1927 graduate of the Creighton University dental school in Omaha.

His wife, the former Helen Johnson, died in 1985. His son Albert N. Brown Jr. died in 2010.

Survivors include two children, Peggy Doughty of Pinckneyville and Robert Graham Brown of The Dalles, Ore.; 12 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; and 19 great-great-grandchildren.

In 2007, Dr. Brown was recognized by several Bataan veterans organizations as the oldest survivor. Roger Simpson, a public information officer with the American War Library in Gardena, Calif., said that according to its records, Dr. Brown was the oldest veteran of World War II.

About the diary: Excerpts from the diary were posted online in her website for her documentary, Tragedy of Bataan, by Jan Thompson who noted,

One of the many gems that I have discovered during my research was Captain Albert Brown’s diary. The diary begins before December 8, 1941-April 9, 1942. Below are some excerpts that I could not fit into the documentary. He hid the diary in the lining of a musette bag during his imprisonment.

The Philippine Diary Project is grateful to Jan Thompson who gave permission on March 17, 2019 for the excerpts she published online to be used in the Project.