James Earl Brooks, 91, of Pittsburg passed away Sunday morning, April 13, 2014 at his home.
He was born September 30, 1922, the son of Raymond Dewey and Gladys E. (Smothermon) Brooks.
On June 17, 1944, he was united in marriage to Claudia E. Weaver at Ardmore, Oklahoma. She survives at the family home.
He served in the United States Army Air Force during World War II from April 13, 1943 until December 6, 1945. He flew 29 combat missions over Germany with the 487th Bomb Group, 837 Squadron. Mr. Brooks was a radio operator on a B-17 Bomber with the 8th Air Force based in Lavenham, England. He was shot down on November 25, 1944 over Meersburg, Germany. After three days the SS Troopers caught him and he was a Prisoner of War until April 16, 1945. He was liberated by the British 7th Army, The Desert Rats.
Mr. Brooks worked as a heavy equipment operator for Mackie Clemons Coal Company.
Membership was held in the South Broadway Baptist Church, United Mine Workers of America, Disabled Army Veterans, Ex-Prisoner of War, Benjamin Fuller American Legion, and the Caterpillar Club.
In addition to his wife, Claudia, he is survived by a son, Dr. Kenneth Brooks and his wife, Donna of Pittsburg; a daughter, Dr. Nancy J. Brooks of Muncie, Indiana; four grandchildren, Dr. Dustin Brooks and his wife, Tiffany, Dr. Thomas Brooks and his wife, Stacey, Gary E. Thompson, Jr. and his wife, Amy, and Corissa Rowlands and her husband, Mike; and 13 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and five brothers, Wayne, Raymond "Doc", Dean, Phil, and Charles Brooks.
Services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday (April 17) at the South Broadway Baptist Church with Rev. Dan Moss officiating. Burial will follow in Garden of Memories Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Wednesday at the Brenner Mortuary, where friends may call after noon. The family suggests memorials to the South Broadway Baptist Church. Online condolences may also be left at www.brennermortuary.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Brenner Mortuary, Pittsburg, KS.
Published by Morning Sun on Apr. 15, 2014.