Fred B. Brian (February 22, 1924 - October 11, 1999) was an Illinois Wesleyan University student when he joined the United States Army Air Corps in 1943. He served as a pilot/navigator on C-47s in Africa, Italy and South America, and he was discharged with the rank of Captain in 1945.
Following the war, Brian completed a BFA degree at Illinois Wesleyan in 1950. He received an MFA from the University of Iowa in 1951, and became an assistant professor at Illinois Wesleyan in 1952. He received the University’s highest teaching award in 1979, and he retired in 1984.
Following his retirement, Brian gave the University Librarian the letters Brian had written to his parents while on active duty during World War II. The collection contains a total of 324 letters dated from February 23, 1943 through September 21, 1945, thus covering his entire time in the Army Air Corps. It was Professor Brian’s wish to make these letters available to researchers after his death.