Arlester Brown was born on April 1, 1924 in Homer, Louisiana and spent a great deal of his life in Shreveport, Louisiana. At age 18, he was drafted on July 6, 1942 into the U.S. Army. After attending basic training at Camp Ellis in Peoria, Illinois, Arlester sailed to Southampton, England.
Arlester was deployed in various locations across Saint Lo and Normandy, France, Belgium, The Netherlands and the Rhineland area in Germany. He worked as a Quartermaster engineer with the 599th Quartermaster Laundry Company which was known for its involvement in the historical cleaning and supply for the front line. The supply line was formed by all Black troops who worked tirelessly to keep the troops’ clothing and cleaning supplies in line while the soldiers were in and out of combat during World War II. He also assisted in providing the soldiers personal hygiene and clean clothing. Arlester and other black soldiers were treated with more respect and equality in Europe than home in a highly segregated American culture. His most memorable time in World War II was in January, 1945 when an unmanned buzz bomb exploded near him and he was hit by shrapnel.
Arlester was discharged at Camp Shelby on December 28, 1945.