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America’s Oldest World War II Veteran Receives Flyover for 111th Birthday

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America’s Oldest World War II Veteran Receives Flyover for 111th Birthday

Lawrence Brooks

America’s oldest World War II veteran received a military flyover for his 111th birthday on Saturday as the coronavirus changed plans for a more traditional birthday celebration.


Last year, New Orleans native and World War II veteran Lawrence Brooks received cupcakes, music, and lots of kisses at the National WWII Museum as the facility hosted him for a birthday party for the fifth year in a row.


This year, the celebration came to him because of the coronavirus pandemic, as he watched from his porch while an entire squadron of WWII-era aircraft did a flyover in his neighborhood, the Times-Picayune reported.

Brooks’s official birthday is on September 12, 1909, and he served in the black 91st Engineer Battalion during the war, according to a press release from the museum.

Brooks and his unit were stationed in New Guinea and the Philippines during WWII, the Military Times reported.

The museum said he was a private first class who served three white officers in his battalion.


“I feel great, feel wonderful,” Brooks told WWL after he visited the New Orleans VA Hospital on Thursday.

On Saturday, Brooks danced while the Victory Belles performed on the sidewalk in front of his home and sang “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (of Company B),” the Picayune reported.


The WWII museum encouraged everyone to send Brooks birthday cards, and he had received nearly 10,000 birthday cards by his birthday.


The 9,768 birthday cards, packages, and letters came from all 50 states plus the Virgin Islands, Guam, and five other countries, the Picayune reported.


During the ceremony and the socially distanced car parade that followed in front of his house, Brooks smiled and waved.

“God bless all of you. Every one of you,” Brooks said as he wore a New Orleans Saints mask.


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