Oldest US veteran of WWII celebrates his 112th birthday

Oldest WWII Vet Birthday
Posted at 3:54 PM, Sep 13, 2021

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana man who is the oldest living World War II veteran in the United States has marked his 112th birthday.

Lawrence Brooks celebrated Sunday with a drive-by party at his New Orleans home hosted by the National World War II Museum.

Festivities included a Jeep parade, a live performance from the museum vocal trio, and entertainment from New Orleans musicians.

Brooks was born in 1909 in Norwood, Louisiana, and has lived in Louisiana since 1929, the Associated Press reported.

Drafted in 1940, Brooks was a private in the Army's mostly Black 91st Engineer Battalion.

The unit was stationed in New Guinea and the Philippines and built infrastructures such as bridges, roads, and airstrips.

During his service, Brooks had to deliver a load of barbed wire to the front when one of the engines in the plane he was in went out.

Brooks described the moment in an oral history about his service.

He said to conserve weight, he unloaded the barbed wire and told the two men in the cockpit, who had parachutes, that if the plane went down, he was going to latch onto one of them, according to the AP.

Brooks said they made it through, and they all "had a big laugh about that.”