Oldest US World Warfare II veteran celebrates 112th birthday | Us world information
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A Louisiana man, the oldest living World War II veteran in the United States, celebrated 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, The Times-Picayune / The New Orleans Advocate reported. He also received greetings from Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, who tweeted, “Mr. Brooks, the entire state of Louisiana thanks you for your service, and we wish you all a happy birthday. “
The museum has previously hosted parties for Brooks, although the coronavirus pandemic has caused those events to shift to drive-by celebrations for the past two years.
This year’s celebrations included a jeep parade, a live performance by the museum’s vocal trio, and entertainment from New Orleans musicians. The city also recognized Brooks’ birthday with an official proclamation.
Brooks was born in Norwood, Louisiana in 1909 and has lived in New Orleans since 1929. Drafted in 1940, he was a soldier in the Army’s 91st Army Engineering Battalion, a unit that was stationed in New Guinea and the Philippines and had infrastructure such as bridges, roads and runways.
In an oral lore about his service posted on YouTube, Brooks also described how he was delivering a load of barbed wire forward when one of the engines on the C-47 he was traveling in failed.
After they had unloaded the barbed wire to save weight, he made his way into the cockpit. He told the pilot and co-pilot that he would hold onto one of them as they were the only ones with parachutes if they had to jump.
“We made it anyway,” he says with a laugh. “We laughed a lot about that.”
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