R. Paul and Betty Shallenberger Brimm Military Uniform Collection

Collection Overview

Title: R. Paul and Betty Shallenberger Brimm Military Uniform Collection

Record Series: 20/08/19

Creator: R. Paul and Betty Shallenberger Brimm

Date: ca. 1942-1952

Extent: 23.25 linear feet, 8 boxes

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

Language: This material is entirely in English.

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Preferred Citation: [Identification of item] in the R. Paul and Betty Shallenberger Brimm Military Uniform Collection, Archives Record Series 20/08/19, [box and folder number], University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

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Historical Note


Robert Paul Brimm


















Robert Paul Brimm was born on June 25, 1912, in Creal Spring, Illinois, son of William and Eva Brimm. He had one brother, John, and a sister, Berenice.

In 1931, after graduating from University High School, Carbondale, Illinois, Paul Brimm (as he preferred to be called) attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where he received his Bachelor of Education degree in 1935. For the next year he taught at Cambria Junior High, Illinois, then became a teacher, coach, and superintendent for Creal Spring Public Schools from 1936-1941.

During the summers of 1936-1941 and again in the summers of 1946-1948, he was the Camp Director for the Junior Military Academy in Chicago.

From 1942-1945 he served in the U. S. Army as a communications officer in Europe. Most of the uniforms in this collection date from this time, although there are some articles from the Korean War as well.

After his honorable discharge in 1945, Paul Brimm returned to the States to pursue his Master's degree in Education at the University of Missouri.  He completed that degree in 1947. While working toward his Ph. D. in Education, he accepted the position as principal at the Laboratory Secondary School at Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls, Iowa, which at that time was located in Sabin Hall.  This position carried the rank of assistant professor.

He was awarded his doctorate from Missouri in 1949.

On May 22, 1949, he and Betty Jane Shallenberger were married at the First United Methodist Church in Cedar Falls.

A year later their first daughter, Ann, was born.

In 1950 plans were unveiled to construct a new building for the Laboratory School, although this was not fully achieved until 1959, when the building complex was renamed Malcolm Price Laboratory School.

Dr. Brimm’s service as principal was interrupted when he was recalled to active duty from 1951-1952 during the Korean War. He was stationed in Washington D. C. 

The couple's son Robert was born in 1952 in Aberdeen, Maryland.

Upon Dr. Brimm’s second discharge from the Army in 1952, he returned to Iowa to resume his duties as principal at the campus high school, a position he held until 1964.

Daughter Jean (Shawna) was born in 1953 in Cedar Falls.

That same year, Dr. Brimm was promoted to associate professor, and in 1959 to professor.

Iowa State Teachers College was renamed State College of Iowa in 1961.

In 1964 Dr. Brimm was asked to teach full-time in the Department of Education and Psychology. In 1967 State College of Iowa became the University of Northern Iowa. Two years later Dr. Brimm moved to the Department of School Administration and Personnel, where he continued to work until his retirement in 1982.

For many years he was involved with the North Central Association, chairing its Commission on Schools. Following his retirement he served as Executive Secretary of the Iowa Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

During his years in education Dr. Brimm wrote many papers promoting improvements and innovations in education. He also published a book, The Junior High School (1963).

He died in Cedar Falls on October 30, 1985, following a lengthy illness.


Betty Jane Shallenberger















Betty Jane Shallenberger was born on October 6, 1920, in Vanderbilt, Pennsylvania, daughter of Charles and Lillian Shallenberger. She had two sisters, Margaret and Joanne.

After graduating from Connellsville High School, Connellsville, Pennsylvania in 1937, Miss Shallenberger attended State Teachers College in California, Pennsylvania, receiving her Bachelor of Education degree in 1941. For two years following graduation she taught at her alma mater, Connellsville High School.

In January 1943 she enlisted in the Navy.  She received her WAVES training (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service) at Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She was later stationed in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Bronx, New York, and then finished her military service in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Following her discharge in January 1946, Miss Shallenberger returned to teach for just over three months at Connellsville High School (March-June 1946), after which she moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, to pursue graduate work. She remained at the University of Utah through July 1947, serving as Director of the Nursing School from January-July of that year while also attending classes.

She then moved back east to continue her studies at the Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York. She worked in the infirmary there until December 1947, and as a graduate assistant until August 1948. At that time she earned her Master of Arts in Speech and the Dramatic Arts.

Immediately thereafter she obtained employment as a speech therapy teacher at the Iowa State Teachers College’s Laboratory Secondary school, where Paul Brimm was principal. She had very much enjoyed her time in Cedar Falls during her WAVES training, and was happy to return. In later correspondence she stated that as a little girl the two places she wanted to visit in the world were Switzerland and Iowa.

From 1948-1949 she taught as a tenure-track faculty member. However, after her marriage to Paul Brimm on May 22, 1949, she was disqualified from achieving tenure. Nepotism rules at the time forbade both partners in a marriage from having tenure. She was rehired on a temporary basis, but resigned her position in January 1950 due to her pregnancy with the couple’s first child.

That child, Ann, was born in May of 1950. Son Robert followed in Juy of 1952, and daughter Jean (Shawna) in October of 1953.

Mrs. Brimm remained in Cedar Falls for the rest of her life, but unfortunately, records of her activities after 1953 are scarce.

Paul Brimm died on October 30, 1985.

Beginning in 1989 Mrs. Brimm volunteered three days a week at Hansen Elementary School in Cedar Falls, helping with reading and writing, and sharing her World War II experiences with the children. She continued in this capacity until at least 2000.

Mrs. Brimm died in Cedar Falls on April 10, 2010, of natural causes.

Scope and Content

This collection consists military uniforms, documents, and other paraphernalia regarding R. Paul and Betty Brimm's military serive.


Box 1 Personal; Military records

War ration books

Betty Shallenberger School commencement programs

Betty Shallenberger military records

Presentations on the WAVES

Essays, correspondence, newspaper clippings

WAVES veterans newsletters

R. Paul Brimm military records

R. Paul Brimm unit newsletters

Box 2 – Military shirts belonging to R. Paul Brimm

2 Army Cloth shirts (Penney’s) – Olive drab, long-sleeved

4 Regulation Officers shirts (Creighton) – Olive drab, long-sleeved

2 Regulation Officers Shirts (no brand name) – One olive drab, one dark green, both long-sleeved

1 Military Regulation Shirt (no brand name) – Olive drab, long-sleeved

1 civilian shirt (We Go brand) – Dark brown, long-sleeved.

Box 3 – Military coats and trousers belonging to R. Paul Brimm

1 cut-away coat (Clipper Craft Clothes) – Dark green, no adornments.

1 cut-away coat (no brand name) – Brown, small Chemical Corps insignias on each lapel, four length-of-service stripes near hem of left sleeve

1 full-length coat (F.K. Heindrich, Washington, D.C.) – Dark green, with belt.

2 Army Officers Trousers (no brand name) – Dark green

Box 4 – Military clothing accessories and compass belonging to R. Paul Brimm

1 military compass (W. & L.E. Gurley Company) – With clip-on belt pouch, initials “Hg” etched inside cover

2 adjustable belts (no brand name) –  One brown, one dark green, both with brass buckles

2 plain neckties (no brand name) – Dark green

1 billed officers hat (Luxemberg Tailors, New York) – Dark brown, wool outside, leather bandinside, brass Navy Eagle pin above bill, belt on outside of hat (just above bill), one small eagle on each side of belt.

1 billed officers hat (no brand name) – Beige, wool outside, leather band inside, brass Navy Eagle pin above bill, belt on the outside (just above bill), one small eagle on each side of belt, protective plastic sheath inside and out.

1 garrison cap (Art Cap Company) –Khaki, unadorned

1 garrison cap (no brand name) – Dark green with small pin on the front.

1 garrison cap (no brand name) – Khaki, with  small plain pin on the front.

2 garrison caps (no brand name) – Khaki, unadorned.

1 garrison cap (no brand name) – Gray, unadorned.

Box 5 – Military clothing belonging to Betty Shallenberger (later Brimm)

I cut-away jacket (Handmacher company) – Navy blue, four large buttons with flower pattern

1 cut-away jacket (no brand name) – White, with shoulder padding.

1 regulation jacket (no brand name) – Navy blue, navy anchor insignia sewn onto each lapel, light blue trim just above the hem of each sleeve

2 blouses (no brand name) – White, short-sleeved.

1 blouse (no brand name) – Navy blue, long-sleeved.

1 bathing cap (no brand name) – Black .

1 working blouse (no brand name) – Gray/white vertical stripes, navy anchor insignia sewn onto each lapel, navy blue trim just above sleeve hems with star insignia sewn above trim.

1 raincoat liner (Season Skipper company) – Navy blue, long-sleeved

1 skirt (no brand name) – Navy blue, mid-length, pockets in back

1 skirt (no brand name) – White, mid-length, no pockets

BOX 6 – Military items belonging to Betty Shallenberger

1 handbag (no brand name) – Black, leather, with coin purse and small box of military patches inside.

1 pair of dress shoes (no brand name) – Navy blue, leather, rounded toes, two-inch heels.

1 garrison cap (no brand name) – Navy blue, tarnished silver Navy Eagle pin on one side of brim, plain silver rectangular pin on the other side, on tag: “Made and sold under authority of the U.S. Navy. W.A.V.E.S.”

1 havelock (no brand name) – Navy blue, tag says: “Made and sold under authority of the U.S. Navy. Women’s Naval Reserve.”

1 skullcap (no brand name) – Navy blue.

1 skullcap (no brand name) – Gray and white vertical stripes.

1 Master Chief Petty Officer combination hat (Knox  company) – Black with decorative black banner across the front saying “U.S. Navy.”

1 Master Chief Petty Officer combination hat (Knox  company) – Black brim, white top with black decorative banner across the front saying “U.S. Navy.”

1 Master Chief Petty Officer combination dress hat (no brand name) – Navy blue brim, white canvas cover with plain navy blue decorative banner across the front and large Navy Eagle pin above banner.

1 garrison cap (no brand name) – Gray and white vertical stripes on top, gray and white diagonal stripes on upturned brim, small Navy Eagle pin on left front, small rectangular unadorned pin on right front.

1 garrison cap (no brand name) – Black, leather trimming inside.

1 Boy Scouts of America garrison cap (no brand name) – Navy blue with gold trim across the top and a Cub Scouts Den Mother pin on left front.

2 canvas hat covers (no brand name) – White.

1 pair of arm-length dress gloves (no brand name) – White with three metal fasteners between wrist and elbow

1 bathing cap (no brand name) – Black.

1 silk sash (no brand name) – Black.

1 silk necktie (no brand name) – White.

Box 7

Men's World War II Army dress uniform visor wool and leather bill Hat. Insignia. Chin strap.

Box 8

Men's World War II Army campaign hat with cord. Chin strap. 

Processing Information

Collection processed and described by Library Associate Dave Hoing. Inventory prepared for Web by University Archivist Gerald L. Peterson, February 2015. Updated, March 3, 2015 (dh). Updated January 2018 and April 2018 (dh). Linear feet updated on September 20, 2017 by Student Assistant Elizabeth Schechinger.

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