The oldest US World War II veteran is turning 111, and a museum is looking for people to send him birthday cards

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The oldest US World War II veteran is turning 111, and a museum is looking for people to send him birthday cards
Lawrence Brooks has celebrated five previous birthdays at the National World War II Museum.Courtesy of The National WWII Museum
  • Lawrence Brooks is the oldest-known US World War II veteran in the United States, and he's turning 111 on September 12.
  • Brooks served in the predominately Black 91st Engineer Battalion in New Guinea and the Phillippines during the war.
  • For the past five years, The National World War II Museum has held parties for Brooks, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year they are asking for birthday cards instead.
  • "He is such a wonderful man, and we are proud to be able to honor him again this year," a representative for the museum told Insider.
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Lawrence Brooks is the oldest-known US World War II veteran alive today, and he turns 111 on September 12.

Brooks was drafted at age 31 to the US military's predominantly Black 91st Engineer Battalion during the war. He was stationed in New Guinea and the Philippines.

He served white officers during his time in the war and eventually achieved the rank of Private 1st Class.

Following his service, Brooks worked as a forklift operator until he retired more than 40 years ago.

The oldest US World War II veteran is turning 111, and a museum is looking for people to send him birthday cards
Brooks at the National World War II Museum in 2019 with his own military portrait.Courtesy of The National WWII Museum

For the past five years, the National World War II Museum in New Orleans has thrown parties for Brooks, who was raised in Norwood, Louisiana, and now lives in New Orleans.

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The National World War II Museum told Insider of its role in helping to commemorate and celebrate the lives of veterans like Brooks.

"As we continue to lose members of The Greatest Generation over time, it's so important that we honor and celebrate these men and women and their sacrifice," a representative for the museum said.

Past parties have featured a variety of patriotic events, such as a serenade by the museum's vintage vocal trio, The Victory Belles.

The oldest US World War II veteran is turning 111, and a museum is looking for people to send him birthday cards
Brooks at his birthday party in 2019 with the Victory Belles.Courtesy of The National WWII Museum

This year, however, the museum cannot host an in-person celebration for Brooks due to COVID-19-related health and safety regulations

Instead, the museum staff members are asking the public to send birthday cards to Brooks to help him celebrate his special day. On his birthday, museum staff will deliver the cards to Brooks' home, and The Victory Belles will wish him a musical happy birthday.

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The National World War II Museum has enjoyed having Brooks nearby to help celebrate his special life moments.

"It's been wonderful to have Mr. Lawrence Brooks, the oldest living US veteran of World War II, living so close to our institution, and to be able to celebrate his incredible life every year," a representative for the museum told Insider.

People who wish to send cards to Brooks can do so using the following address:

The National WWII Museum

c/o Happy 111th Mr. Brooks!

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945 Magazine Street

New Orleans, LA 70130

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