Collection of materials relating to Frank M. Brandstetter, including documents from his military career and from his time as a hotelier.
Scope and Contents of the Materials
Orders, printed material, literary productions, maps, and photographic material relating to Colonel Frank M. Brandstetter's activities as an officer in the United States Army during World War II in Europe with the Field Interrogation Department (1943- 1944) and with General Matthew B. Ridgway's staff (1944-1945). Also included are Brandstetter's correspondence, financial documents, printed material, literary productions, scrapbooks, and photographs relating to his activities as President of Continental Restaurants Corporation (1951-1955) and as a hotel manager/executive at the Sans Souci Hotel in Jamaica (1955-1957), the Havana Hilton (1958-1959), the Las Brisas Hilton and the Acapulco Hilton (1959-1963), and the Las Brisas Hotel (1964-1976). Brandstetter's activities as general manager of Seagrams de Mexico (1976-1977) and director of Diplomatic and International Account Sales with Seagrams Overseas Sales Company (1978-1979) are detailed in printed material, literary productions, scrapbooks, and photographic material. Also included are scrapbooks, maps, and photographs of Brandstetter's travels in Africa, Europe, Mexico, China, and Russia (1960s-1990s).
Collection Historical Note
Colonel Frank Maryan "Brandy" Brandstetter (U.S. Army Ret.) was born into Austrian-Hungarian nobility on March 26, 1912, and immigrated to the United States as a penniless teenager. Volunteering for World War II service with the U.S. Army, his background, knowledge of customs, traditions and fluency with Hungarian, Romanian, Austrian, Czech and German languages made him a perfect choice for an intelligence career. After graduating from the U.S. Army Intelligence School, he was trained by British military intelligence before he parachuted with the 506th Airborne Infantry Regiment on D-Day and led his IPW (Interrogation of Prisoners of War) team into World War II. He served as General Matthew B. Ridgway's trusted aide with the XVIII Airborne Corps until the end of the war, then, with General Ridgway in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, and finally with the original, five-nation United Nations Organization. His awards include the Silver Star and the Bronze Star.
Brandy continued for 40 years in uniform as a U.S. Army Reservist frequently providing assistance to the Office of the Army Chief of Staff for Intelligence, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the FBI, and the CIA. Subsequently, Brandstetter unofficially provided reconnaissance services to the United States, primarily at his own expense, to China, Greece, Cyprus, Morocco, South Africa, Spain, Argentina, Yugoslavia, and many other hot spots at times when security threats were emerging.
As a civilian, Brandy developed real estate and excelled as a hotelier. He was the founder and operator of the Las Brisas Resort in Acapulco, a favorite destination during Acapulco's heyday. He received many awards for his active service in building community and bringing people out of poverty. This work led him to projects that educated and employed many and launched productive careers that otherwise never would have been. After learning of Brandy's influence that helped thwart a rebellion in 1981, King Juan Carlos of Spain sent a small contingent to Acapulco in 2003 to express thanks by giving Brandy an honorary membership in the Corporation Euro Americana De Securidad. His service to the world was surpassed by the quality and depth of his loyalty and his friendship.
Colonel Brandstetter resided in the United States, Jamaica, Cuba, and finally in Mexico where he made his home on the hillside above Acapulco Bay and below the tall landmark cross and Catholic Chapel of Peace, both of which he was instrumental in building.
Source: Frank M. Brandstetter Obituary, The New York Times, September 14 - September 15, 2011 (http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nytimes/obituary.aspx?pid=153634344), accessed October 29, 2012.
This collection is not restricted. See Use/Rights restrictions stipulated by donor.
No portion of the contents of the Frank M. Brandstetter Archives, housed in the University of North Texas Archives, A.M. Willis, Jr. Library, University of North Texas, may be reproduced, distributed, adapted, performed, displayed, published, cited or otherwise used or exploited in any form, except as classroom presentations by students or professors, without the prior written permission of the donor, Resource Alternatives, Inc., a District of Columbia corporation. In accordance with the donor agreement, any user of this collection must sign a document agreeing to these stipulations.
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