Jane Gail Brister Collection
Scope and Contents
The Brister Papers contains a significant amount of of printed materials and photos, primarily from her time stationed in Germany in 1945-1946, 1951-1954, and 1959-1961. These document her tours in the European Theater Intelligence School, the Intelligence Center at Camp King, the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Forces (HQ SHAEF), and the Soviet intelligence training school. Her experiences at Fort Oglethorpe; the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York; Army Language School in Monterey, California; Fort Hayes, Ohio; and Camp King are also documented through two scrapbooks. The collection contains similar material from reunions and dedications Brister attended following her retirement from the army.
The Brister Papers also contain uniform accessories, including ribbons, medals, patches, buttons and a VHS videotape of a 2002 interview with Brister. The Oral History primarily documents Brister's experiences in Germany while serving in the Women's Army Corps during World War II, and her work in army intelligence in the 1950s and 1960s.
- Brister, Jane Gail (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.
Jane Gail Brister was born in 1921 in Baltimore, Maryland, and grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Cheltenham High School in 1938, and then attended Presbyterian College for Young Women [now Arcadia University] in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, on a scholarship. She did not graduate, but took a job at an H.W. Butterworth and Sons factory in January 1942.
In May 1943, Brister joined the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. She went to basic training at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, and then attended Officer Candidate School in Des Moines, Iowa. She returned to Fort Oglethorpe, where she had two weeks of Intermediate Officer School and was then assigned to a basic training company. In May 1945, she was sent overseas to Camp Lucky Strike in Le Havre, France, and then stationed briefly in Versailles before going to Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She was later moved to the European Theater Intelligence School (ETIS) in Oberammergau, Germany, until she was demobilized in December 1946.
Brister studied journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, but did not graduate. In December 1948, she returned to the WAC when they were brought into the regular army and was assigned to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. From June 1950 to June 1951, she went to an Army Language School for Russian at Monterey, California. She then went to the Intelligence Center at Oberursel, Germany, until 1954. Her next assignment was recruiting out of Fort Hayes, Columbus, Ohio.
In 1956, Brister got into the Foreign Area Specialist Training (FAST) program and went for a year of training at Columbia University before serving two more years in Oberammergau. There, from 1959 to 1961, she worked in a Soviet intelligence training school and as a Strategic Intelligence Officer. She returned to the United States in 1961 to work in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for the Department of Intelligence in the Pentagon. In 1963, Brister was promoted to lieutenant colonel and transferred to the Defense Intelligence Agency.
In June 1965, she retired from the army and was recruited to work for Sylvania Electronics. She later did tutoring and teaching of remedial elementary school classes. Brister moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1995. She died 11 February 2011.
2.40 Linear Feet (1 box, 1 archival box, 1 oversize box)
Language of Materials
Jane G. Brister (1921-2011), of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, served in the Women's Army Corps (WAC) from May 1943 to December 1946 and from December 1948 to June 1965.
The Brister Papers (bulk 1945-1965) contain printed material, photographs, artifacts, scrapbooks, and an oral history interview which document her twenty-year career in the army.
This collection is organized into the following series: Papers, Printed Materials, and Photographs; Scrapbooks; Artifacts; and Interviews.
Method of Acquisition
Gifts of Jane G. Brister in November 1999, May 2000, and September 2002.
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Processed by Linda Jacobson, December 2002.
- Brister, Jane Gail
- Brister, Jane Gail -- Interviews
- United States -- Armed Forces -- Women -- Interviews
- United States. Army--Women
- United States. Army. Women's Army Corps -- Interviews
- Women and the military
- Women in war
- Women soldiers -- United States -- Interviews
- Women veterans -- United States
- Women veterans -- United States -- Interviews
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Participation, Female
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Women -- United States
- Jane Gail Brister Collection
- Linda Jacobson
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note