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Donor Spotlight: The Joe W. and Dorthy Dorsett Brown Foundation

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The Saluting the Services: Service Branch Cases in US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center pay tribute to the six service branches for the US Armed Forces, and the 16 million men and women who served during World War II. The six cases–highlighting the US Navy, US Army, US Marine Corps, US Army Airforce, US Coast Guard, and US Merchant Marines–display WWII-era uniforms from each branch and the stories of the individuals who wore them.

The Command Center, located in the center of the gallery, is an interactive exhibit highlighting how the many branches of the US Armed Forces worked together to secure victory. Visitors can use touchscreen technology to explore major battles and campaigns, and to view maps, archival images and associated weaponry.

Donor Spotlight: The Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation

The Saluting the Services: Service Branch Cases exhibit has been made possible through a generous gift from The Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation. The Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation was established in 1958 with a mission of alleviating human suffering. This notable Foundation’s efforts primarily target south Louisiana, including the New Orleans area, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

D. Paul Spencers2

D. Paul Spencer, President of the Board of Trustees at The Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation

Joe W. Brown and Dorothy Dorsett Brown moved to New Orleans in the mid-1920s, and their successes in real estate and the oil industry allowed them to pursue philanthropic endeavors. Mrs. Brown led the Foundation until she passed away in 1989, and the Foundation is now led by the Board President, D. Paul Spencer, along with the Board of Trustees. After Spencer completed college and his Army service, a mutual friend introduced him to the Browns and he remained their dear friend and employee for decades afterwards, up until their deaths.

Spencer is a WWII veteran of the European Theater, where he served as a platoon commander in the 90th Infantry Division of the US Army. His platoon was part of a battle in Hof during the latter part of the war, where he recalls “all kinds of hell broke loose.” He remembers a German truck crashing into the side of the road and roughly a dozen German soldiers came toward him. Spencer realized after the crash that his carbine was jammed, and the German soldiers begged him not to shoot. “Thank goodness they were not firing at me. My guys were just behind me a little bit and I was all alone. I put my hand over the cover that was exposed so they wouldn’t see that I couldn’t fire at them.”

Paul Spencer and the men of the 90th Infantry Division engaged in several battles as they made their way through Germany near the end of the war. Spencer and his fellow soldiers liberated the Merkers Salt Mine, where Nazis were hiding gold hoard, silver, and stolen art.

The Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation’s loyal support of The National WWII Museum predates the Museum’s opening in 2000. The Foundation has provided significant funding for the Museum’s capital expansion since its earliest phases and the expansion has made it possible for the Museum to fulfill its mission of telling the epic story of WWII for all future generations.

In addition to generously naming Saluting the Services: Service Branch Cases, the Foundation has also sponsored The Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation Special Exhibits Gallery, Into the German Homeland gallery within Road to Berlin, and a gallery in the upcoming Liberation Pavilion.

The Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation is truly one of the cornerstones of The National WWII Museum’s support, and we could not be more grateful as we continue on our Road to Victory.


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