Brian Keith, American WWII veteran: his letter to Dave

There are lots of other links to this letter I could include, but I’ve read through many of them and followed their links to more links and more links… and still no verification or resolution to the story. I was going to ask Cecil and then saw that I should try posting here first. I did search this site – and why “Brian Keith” gave results like dyslexia in Chinese, and someting about snot, I’ll never know.

If you guys have no clue either, I’ll ask Cecil.

Thanks. :)[URL=“”]

What is your question? Are you asking if it was authentic?

I’m sorry, I guess I really wasn’t that clear. I’m trying to find out if this is real, and what happened to either or both of them after this.

I’m thinking it wasn’t Brian Keith the actor. Although he was in the service from 1942 to 1945. Would have been an out of character career killer at the time.

Right, I should have said I doubt it’s him either. :slight_smile:

First of all I’d say the even if it was real the names where most likely changed since at the time coming out of the closet was pretty much out of the question for just about everyone. Second, the letter reads like some teenage boy sending a letter to Penthouse bragging about his exploits. Penned by the magazine itself to peek interest would be my guess.

If it’s authentic . . . “Dave” seemed to have been killed in action.

It appears “authentic” in the sense that it really did appear in One magazine, a pro-gay publication, in its September, 1961, issue.

As to whether it is a truly authentic letter from WWII, I can’t tell.

Or maybe Dave turned out to be a slut and joined the French Foreign Legion, romantic that he was.

How was Dave killed in action in North Africa in October 1943 when the Axis surrendered six months earlier? Also, who got to go home in the middle of the war? I’m thinking these guys were probably Air Force officers who had, unlike Yossarian, finished their tours of duty.

“I stood atop the sea-wall and watched your convoy disappear over the horizon.”

Doesn’t that imply Dave was sent to another combat zone, while Brian was allowed to return home?

It says they were both going home though. I missed the ‘watching your convoy’ part though. It’s possible Dave’s ship was sunk in the Atlantic on the trip home.

… to pique interest would be my spelling.

The only thing I find more incredible than there being a “pro-gay” periodical in 1961 is that it was founded in 1953! (Had to look that up, of course.)

When I came out, in 1963, I had never heard of anyone being “pro-gay.” It would have been like being “pro-chainsaw-murderer.” In fact, I was only dimly aware of the term “gay” in that context. And also in fact, though I was officially out, I was a long way from being completely “pro-gay” myself. That publication was WAY ahead of its time.

The October, 1943 date is the date they met.
There is no indication regarding which anniversary it was. It could have been as late as October, 1960. Given the predilection of current society to regard decades as significant, it might have been written in 1953.
Given that timeline, Dave could have been killed in Sicily, Italy, or Southern France at any time during the rest of the war.
The “going home” line does appear to be problematic. However, while it was rare for troops to be let go in the middle of the war, it was certainly the case that a number of fliers were rotated back after a certain number of missions so that they could provide “real life” training to the upcoming replacements. Officers in the artillery and a few other specialized fields were also rotated back as instructors.

I have no idea whether the letter is real, but I have not seen any clear reason to doubt it.