The oldest known US veteran of World War II in the United States celebrated his 111th birthday on Saturday. Lawrence Brooks was honored at his home with plane flyovers, a socially distant performance of a vocal trio dressed in vintage attire and nearly 10,000 birthday cards from well-wishers around the world.
The National WWII Museum arranged for the celebration to be viewed from the centenarian’s front porch.
The Museum’s vocal trio, The Victory Belles, performed a series of numbers including “Happy Birthday,” and Brooks enjoyed military plane flyovers courtesy of the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team and The Big Easy Wing. The Museum additionally presented Mr. Brooks with a cake, a recorded message from President & CEO Stephen Watson and a slew of birthday cards.
“It is such an honor to have the oldest living U.S. veteran of World War II living so close to our institution, and it was meaningful for us to continue to celebrate Lawrence Brooks and his incredible life in a safe manner this year,” said Amber Mitchell, assistant director of public engagement at The National WWII Museum. “As we continue to lose members of The Greatest Generation, it is so important that we honor these men and women for their bravery and sacrifice while they are with us.”
Brooks was born in 1909. He served in the predominantly African-American 91st Engineer Battalion, which was stationed in New Guinea and then the Philippines during World War II.
During his 111 years, he married Leona B. Brooks and fathered an incredible 10 children – five children and five step-children.
His oral history, recorded by The National WWII Museum, is available here.
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