Oldest WWII Veteran Celebrated 111 Birthday at Home in New Orleans

September 15, 2020
Army medals

Happy birthday to Lawrence Brooks. The New Orleans Central City resident celebrated his 111th birthday this past weekend. 

The party included a socially distant performance from the WWII Museum's Victory Belles, a 4 plane military-style flyover and 10,000 cards sent from all over the world. And cake. 

Happy 111th Birthday to Mr. Lawrence Brooks of New Orleans, LA! While we weren't able to have our usual birthday party at the Museum this year, we were able to host a socially distanced celebration that he could view safely from his porch. In addition to flyovers, a cake, and a personal performance from the Victory Belles, we were able to deliver the nearly 10,000 birthday cards sent in from around the world. Thank you to everyone who sent a card or birthday wishes for helping us make this day special in a new way!

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Lawrence Brooks was born September 12, 1909, and went on to serve in the predominately Black 91st Engineer Battalion in New Guinea and the Philippines during the war. 

He was drafted at age 31 and served in the predominantly African-American 91st Engineer Battalion, which was stationed in New Guinea and then the Philippines during World War II, a time when the military was still segregated. He eventually reached the rank of Private 1st Class. He turned 111 on Sept. 12, 2020. He has five children, 13 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren. 

Big thanks to the @bigeasywingcaf and @aeroshellaerobaticteam for helping us celebrate Lawrence Brooks' 111th birthday with a flyover in honor of Mr. Brooks! Special thanks to @garysinisefoundation for supporting the effort!

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