The Defense Department on Saturday celebrated the 111th birthday of Lawrence Brooks, the oldest known living U.S. veteran from World War II.
The Louisiana native was stationed with the Army as part of the predominately African American 91st Engineers Battalion in the Pacific Theater. He served in Australia, New Guinea and then the Philippines.
Brooks served before the military was formally desegregated in 1948 and spoke with National Geographic in May about the racism and hostility he faced in the service, 75 years after the end of the war.
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