NEW ORLEANS — A man believed to be the oldest World War II veteran celebrated his 110th birthday Thursday with cupcakes, a musical serenade and lots of kisses at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
Lawrence Brooks was joined by family, friends and military service members as he became one of fewer than 500 verified "supercentenarians" worldwide, The Times-Picayune reported.
Brooks was born Sept. 12, 1909, and served in the predominantly African-American 91st Engineer Battalion, according to a news release by the museum. Brooks' unit was stationed in New Guinea and the Philippines during World War II, according to Military Times. He was a private first class and was a servant to three white officers in his battalion, according to the museum.
“That makes me feel good,” Brooks said. “Yes, indeed it does.”
"We absolutely love Mr. Brooks," museum vice president Peter Crean told the Times-Picayune. "We've told him, 'As long as you keep having birthdays, we are going to keep having birthday parties for you here."
The museum’s vocal trio, the Victory Belles, entertained Brooks and planted some kisses on the smiling Army veteran.
Brooks is considered the oldest living American of World War II since 112-year-old Richard Overton of Austin, Texas, died Dec. 27, 2018.
The oldest living World War II veteran is believed to be 113-year-old Gustav Gerneth of Germany, the Times-Picayune reported.
Cox Media Group