The main sources of documentation were the Diary, photo Album and Letters to his mom & dad.
The Diary of Charles Bruns was a hard bound notebook that held 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ paper. Chick used what ever he could find to write on from lined paper to thin onion skin. Written in ink and pencil, many of the pages are smudged and worn to the point that they are nearly illegible. The sketches on the diary covers where drawn by fellow GI, Howard Melgard.
On February 26th, 1945, Chick began to keep his diary on a pocket size note book. This book was used through the end of the war.
The date used on the letters will be the postmark unless the letter itself has a date or day that indicates differently.
In the beginning, the letters were all had written and the original document was mailed. If the mail service decided to ‘censors’ a letter, the censored information was cut out of the letter.
In January of 1943, The first V-Mail was used by Chick. This was an 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of paper that was written on one side with an address box on the other. When folded, the mail created a uniform 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ self mailer letter that was then sent to the states. Censors would simply “Black out” anything they did not want to be seen before it was mailed.
In July of 1943, V-Mail took on a new form. Chick would still write his letter on the per-printed V-Mail stationary, it would then go through mail censors before being photographed and transported as thumbnail-sized image on negative microfilm back to the States. Upon arrival to their destination, the negatives would be printed at 60% of their original size (4 ¼” by 5 3/16″), placed in an envelope and delivered to the recipient who would have to read them with a magnifying glass.
During his time overseas, Chick acquired many post cards from the locations he was located.