Three Volleys for T/5 Lawrence Brooks

Lawrence Brooks, believed to be the country’s oldest World War II veteran, died yesterday at the age of 112.

Born in Louisiana and raised in Mississippi, he trained at Camp Shelby with the 91st Engineer Battalion, a unit that at the time was made up of 1,193 black enlisted and 25 white officers, then shipped out on the RMS Queen Mary in 1942 for Australia, where he spent the war in the Pacific alternating between that island continent and the Papua/New Guinea front, having to dive in foxholes at one point to avoid incoming Japanese strafing attacks.

After the war, he settled in New Orleans and worked a forklift for four decades, living in a shotgun house in Central City.

“I would like to be remembered as a strong man,” Brooks said in a 2021 interview. “A good Soldier.”

He will be buried in a reproduction WWII summer uniform he received in November to replace the remaining original kit he lost in Hurricane Katrina.

He is survived by five children, 13 grandchildren, and 32 great-grandchildren.

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