Lawrence Brooks, the oldest known living US World War II veteran, died Wednesday morning, January 5, in New Orleans at the age of 112.
Brooks was born September 12, 1909 and was raised in Norwood, Louisiana. According to the National WWII Museum, he was drafted into the US Army at the age of 31 and spent World War II in the predominantly African American 91st Engineer Battalion.
Lawrence attained the rank of Private 1st Class during his service. He was stationed in Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines.
He is survived by five children, 13 grandchildren, and 32 great-grandchildren.
The National World War II Museum in New Orleans has hosted birthdays for Brooks since 2014. His 111th and 112th birthday parties were socially distanced due to the pandemic.
"The Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers at The National WWII Museum will forever cherish the memories we shared with Lawrence Brooks," said Stephen J. Watson, Museum President & CEO. "He was a beloved friend, a man of great faith and had a gentle spirit that inspired those around him. As the nation's oldest known living veteran, he proudly served our country during World War II, and returned home to serve his community and church. His kindness, smile and sense of humor connected him to generations of people who loved and admired him. We send our sincerest condolences to his daughter Vanessa and the entire Brooks family."
Read more about Brooks from the National World War II Museum, here.
The Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs issued a statement about Brooks' passing on Twitter:
We are so sad to hear of Mr. Brooks' passing. He was an amazing person who lived life to the fullest. Thank you for your service, sir.— La. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (@LaVetAffairs) January 5, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Brooks' daughter, Vanessa, and the rest of the Brooks family. https://t.co/8tAkzii4aE
Governor John Bel Edwards also sent his condolences to Brooks' family saying that he is "thankful he had the chance to meet him" and that he and his wife are "praying for his family during this time."
I am sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. Lawrence Brooks, America's oldest World War II veteran and a proud Louisianan. I am thankful I had the chance to meet him and learn from his service. Please join me and @FirstLadyofLA in praying for his family during this time. #lagov pic.twitter.com/arCKqvHa9m— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) January 5, 2022
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
To reach the newsroom or report a typo/correction, click HERE.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Evening News Headlines, Latest COVID-19 Headlines, Morning News Headlines, Special Offers