Lawrence Brooks, the oldest known American World War II veteran, dies at 112

The oldest known American veteran of World War II, Lawrence Brooks, died this week at 112 years of age.

Brooks, who served in the US military starting at age 31, was drafted a few weeks after Pearl Harbor was attacked. At the time, the military was still segregated.

In an interview with The Military Times, Brooks recalled sleeping in separate tents from his white counterparts when serving in the mostly African American 91st Engineer Battalion, stationed in Australia, New Guinea and the Philippines.

According to NPR, Brooks’ daughter had been working on replacing some of his military uniforms and insignia, lost in Hurricane Katrina. She managed to replace many of the items before he passed away on Wednesday morning after a long battle with his health. 

Brooks was “a beloved friend, a man of great faith and had a gentle spirit that inspired those around him,” said Stephen Watson, President and Chief Executive of the National World War II Museum. When Brooks was asked what his secret was to staying so healthy and living to such an advanced age, Brooks replied, “Be nice to people.”




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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