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Looking on from his front porch in New Orleans, Lawrence Brooks probably never imagined he’d see this day.Today, the oldest known US veteran of World War II turned 111, and the National WWII Museum held a socially distant celebration for him.

The museum’s Victory Belles sang some tunes during a military flyover.The Victory Belles, the museum’s vocal trio, sang several numbers for him while the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team and the Big Easy Wing performed a military flyover.The museum has hosted Brooks’s birthday celebrations on its campus for the past five years but had to adjust this year’s celebration due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Born in 1909, Brooks obtained the rank of Private 1st Class during the war, according to the museum. In a 2014 interview with the museum, he recounted a terrifying brush with death when he was on board a C-47 cargo jet filled with barbed wire when one of the plane’s motors went out. To lighten the load, he had to throw as much of the wire out as he could.Brooks has five children, five stepchildren, 12 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren.

here are more of his pictures:

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