Lt. Glenn Ulrich Brooks, Jr. was born July 11, 1918 in Lexington, KY. He graduated from Kentucky Military Institute where he was given the distinguished military award for outstanding work in military subjects. He was associate editor of the Saber yearbook, a student council member, and honor student.
Upon completion of his junior year at the University of North Carolina, Lt. Brooks entered training for a commission in the U.S. Air Corps, receiving his wings February 20, 1942 at Brooks Field, San Antonio, TX.
On the same day, following his commission, he married his sweetheart, Jean Watkins from Harrisburg, PA. They had met in St. Petersburg, FL, while Jean attended St. Petersburg High School. Lt. Brooks’ mother was the sorority advisor for Jean’s sorority and his twin sisters, Marian and Martha, were members of the same sorority. Jean was gifted with a beautiful alto voice and sang with many of the big name bands at that time. She was also voted “Miss St. Petersburg High School.”
Training continued so Lt. Brooks and Jean moved to Mac Dill in Florida. On August 12, 1942, the 92nd Bomb Group, 326th Squadron left Bangor, MN for Gander Lake, Newfoundland. Lt. Brooks was a member of the first squadron to fly nonstop from Newfoundland to Preswick, Scotland.
During December 1942, he flew several cargo flights in North Africa. On one occasion, he flew General Ira Eaker to North Africa to convince Churchill to do daylight bombing.
In March 1943, Lt. Brooks went on detached service to the 91st Bomb Group. While returning from a raid over Wilhelmshaven, Germany with a mixed crew from the 91st and 92nd bomb groups, his plane was hit and went down in the North Sea. All crew members were lost and no bodies recovered. The date was March 22, 1943.
Although only married and together for a short time, Jean never remarried and remained faithful to her husband to her death in June of 2002.
It has been written in the history of the 92nd Bomb Group that Lt. Brooks was a very popular officer. A fellow officer wrote, “He was the most moral man I knew.”
Jean Brooks Rhinehart was born April 22, 1943 in Harrisburg, PA and completed one year of college. Widowed in 2008, she and Gary had three children, six grandsons, one great-granddaughter, and one great-grandson! Jean is retired as office manager for a veterinary hospital.
– Jeanne Brooks Rhinehart –
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