Frankfurt: October 9, 1945. SIGNED "Melvin Purvis" in his tight, dark, cursive. 8" x 10.75", 1 pp., fade to edges, most noticeable at the bottom, two symmetric mailing folds, previous dog ear to corner.
Melvin Purvis (1903 - 1960) This letter was written when Purvis, as a LTC in Provost Office of the Army, was assigned as the Chief American Investigator of War Crimes in Germany following WWII. As this letter indicates, one of his responsibilities was to travel around Germany in search of war criminals and bring them to the International Tribunal.
In 1925 he received his law degree from the University of S.C. He answered a call from Bureau Director J. Edgar Hoover who was looking to tighten the FBI standards in 1927. He quickly excelled and Hoover personally put Purvis in charge of the Chicago over took a personal interest in his career and referred to him as “Little Mel” (as did the press) due to his stature. Purvis was five foot, four inches tall and weighed in at 127 pounds. His dogged determination aided him in tracking down some of the most notorious criminals of the nineteen-thirties. Most notable of these was John Dillinger Public Enemy #1, as well as the leader of the team that got "Baby Face" Nelson and "Pretty Boy" Floyd. This notoriety as "Ace G-man", ranked him as the second most famous man in America, behind President Roosevelt. A jealous Hoover scrutinized Purvis to the point of him resigning from the FBI in 1935. Following the military he had a sporadic law career in his home state. He died of a self inflected gunshot wound from the same Colt .45 automatic pistol which had killed John Dillinger.
Addressee is likely: John Jay McCloy (1895 - 1989) Immediately preceding the U.S. entry into World War II, McCloy moved to Washington to work with Henry L. Stimson, the U.S. Secretary of War. McCloy was soon appointed Assistant Secretary of War. McCloy played a key role in mobilizing the U.S. economy for war. He was involved and participated in most of the key decisions of the war, including the development and use of the atom bomb and occupation policy in Europe and Japan. By the time McCloy became the second President of the World Bank, and then three years as the U. S. High Commissioner for Germany. Other career highlights include: Chairmanship of the Chase Manhattan Bank, The Ford Foundation and The Council on Foreign Relations. His circle of associates were dubbed "The Wise Men" for their nonpartisan, non-idealogical approach to internationalism, making him a trustworthy counselor to many of the most powerful men in the 20th century. Fine. Item #2078
"I have just learned you are over here and I should like very much to see you. I am now on a survey trip over the American Zone but can adjust my ininerary (sp)...Sergeant Klein in General Clay's office in Frankfurt will be able to locate me...Sincerely,/s/ Melvin Purvis"