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Sorrow or Comfort?

The day after James Joseph Brodie’s wife received the dreaded telegram informing her of her husband’s death, the Adjutant General followed up with a letter of confirmation.

War Department
The Adjutant General’s Office
Washington, D.C.

In reply refer to:
AG 201 Brodie, James J.
PC-N 186032

7 July 1945

Mrs. Mary E. Brodie
4436 North Kostner Avenue
Chicago, Illinois

Dear Mrs. Brodie:

It is with deep regret that I am writing to confirm the recent telegram informing you of the death of your husband, First Lieutenant James J. Brodie, 01012086, Air Corps.

Your husband was reported missing in action since 28 September 1944 over Germany. It has now been officially established from reports received in the War Department that he was killed in action on 28 September 1944 over Magdeburg, Germany.

I know the sorrow this message has brought you and it is my hope that in time the knowledge of his heroic sacrifice in the service of his country may be of sustaining comfort to you.

I extend to you my deepest sympathy.

Sincerely yours,
Edward F. Witsell
Major General
Acting the Adjutant General of the Army

1 Inclosure
WD Pamphlet No. 20-15

Pamphlet 20-15 was a pamphlet outlining survivor benefits.

The telegram and confirming letter certainly brought sorrow to Mary Brodie’s heart, but comfort was probably a long way off.

Thank you to Larry Miller, great-nephew of James Joseph Brodie, for sharing this piece of his family history.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

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