Oldest Surviving American World War II Veteran Turns 110

A man believed to be the oldest living American World War II veteran just celebrated his 110th birthday last Thursday.

Born on September 12, 1909, Lawrence Brooks celebrated his birthday at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, surrounded by family and friends.

“Brooks served as a support worker in the Army’s 91st Engineer Battalion, a majority African-American unit stationed in New Guinea and the Philippines during the war,” the museum said in a press release. “He reached the rank of private first class. He was the servant to three white officers in the battalion.”

“The museum’s mission is to tell the important stories of the men and women who served in World War II,” added Stephen Watson, the president and CEO of the museum. “We are honored to celebrate Lawrence Brooks, whose life and service are filled with such stories of bravery and determination.”

A native of New Orleans, Lawrence got hugs and kisses from everyone in attendance, including the Victory Belles, a vocal-trio who entertained party guests and sang “Happy Birthday” to the veteran.

“We are honored to have Mr. Brooks return to the Museum for another birthday celebration—the biggest one yet! We’ll welcome him back in the Louisiana Memorial Pavilion and celebrate his extraordinary life,” the museum continued in their statement.

Though Lawrence is believed to be the oldest American World War II veteran, the oldest veteran of the war of any nationality is believed to be Gustav Gerneth of Germany, who is 113 years old.

“We absolutely love Mr. Brooks,” said museum Vice President Peter Crean. “We’ve told him, ‘As long as you keep having birthdays, we are going to keep having birthday parties for you here.’”

Lawrence said he was touched by all of the love he received on his birthday.

“That makes me feel good,” Lawrence commented. “Yes, indeed it does.”

Find out more in the video below.


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