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PHOTOS: Lawrence Brooks, America’s oldest WWII veteran, celebrates turning 110

Brooks served in the Pacific Theater in New Guinea and the Philippines in the predominantly African-American 91st Engineer Battalion that helped make runways for planes.

by Matthew Hinton
September 13, 2019

Army and World War II veteran Lawrence Brooks was adorned with kisses Thursday as he celebrated his 110th birthday in New Orleans at the National WWII Museum.

The New Orleans-native was honored in an annual tradition that started in 2014 at the museum. Brooks said the secret to a long life is to be nice to people.

Brooks served in the Pacific Theater in New Guinea and the Philippines in the predominantly African-American 91st Engineer Battalion that helped make runways for planes. Brooks chuckled as he recounted how he was in a C-47 plane similar to the one hanging in the museum’s ceiling when the engine failed and only the pilot and co-pilot had parachutes.

 

 

Matthew Hinton is a New Orleans area freelance photographer whose work has been recognized by the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) Best of Photojournalism Awards in 2014 and 2016, and by numerous awards from the Press Club of New Orleans, including the Hal Ledet President's Print Photography Award, the highest honor the Press Club can bestow upon a photographer. Matthew Hinton has previously been a staff photographer at both of the daily newspapers in New Orleans. His work has appeared nationally and internationally through freelance work with the Associated Press and AFP, Agence France-Presse.

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