Lawrence Brooks, oldest living WWII Vet, dies at 112

Lawrence Brooks, oldest living WWII Vet, dies at 112

Lawrence Brooks, the oldest World War II vet, died Wednesday morning, according to his daughter and caregiver, Vanessa Brooks.

Lawrence, a Louisiana native, had been in and out of the local veterans' hospital for the last several months, due to complications with his health, stated Vanessa Brooks. She described him as alert, awake and enjoying the holidays until the end.

Born in 1909, just north of Baton Rouge, he was raised in the small town of Stephenson, Mississippi, where his family had moved during the Great Depression.

Brooks was drafted in 1940. He served his one-year obligation, but a few weeks after the events of Pearl Harbor, he returned to the Army.

“There was no question,” Brooks told the National World War II Museum in one of his many oral history interviews. “They just came right back and got me again.”

As a local celebrity in his New Orleans community, Brooks celebrated his birthdays with parties put on in his honor by the nearby National World War II Museum.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, his most recent birthday of Sept. 2021, the party was brought to him in the form of a drive-by parade celebration, where Brooks danced on his porch, as he was serenaded by a trio from the museum, and a military flyover banked over his home.

Lawrence Brooks died in his own bed, as he intended, in New Orleans.

“I would like to be remembered as a strong man,” said Brooks, “A good soldier."

Lawrence Brooks requested to be buried in his uniform.

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