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Sidney P. Brooks

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Sidney P. Brooks
BornSidney Paul Brooks
November 24, 1918
Atlanta, Georgia, US
💀DiedJune 18, 1943(1943-06-18) (aged 25)
ItalyJune 18, 1943(1943-06-18) (aged 25)
Resting placeUnited States Soldiers' and Airmen's Home National Cemetery
🏳️ Nationality
🎓 Alma materOhio State University (did not finish)
💼 Occupation
  • Military officer
  • fighter pilot
📆 Years active  1941–1943

Sidney Paul Brooks (November 24, 1918 - June 18, 1943) was an U.S. Army Air Force officer and combat fighter pilot with the prodigious, all-African American 332nd Fighter Group's 99th Fighter Squadron, best known as the Tuskegee Airmen, "Red Tails," or “Schwartze Vogelmenschen” ("Black Birdmen") among enemy German pilots.[1] He was a member of Tuskegee Airmen's second-ever aviation cadet program and one of the 1007 documented Tuskegee Airmen Pilots.[2][3]

On June 9, 1943, Brooks and fellow 99th Fighter Squadron pilots Charles Dryden, Willie Ashley, Lee Rayford, Leon C. Roberts and Spann Watson became the first African American fighter pilots in history to engage in aerial combat.[4]

Early Life[edit]

Brooks was born on November 24, 1918, in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended Ohio State University, leaving as a junior to enlist in the U.S. Army Air Corps.

Military Service, Tuskegee Airmen[edit]

In 1941, Brooks enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. On April 29, 1942, Brooks graduated from Tuskegee Aviation Cadet Program's second-ever class, Single Engine Section - SE-42-D with Charles W. Dryden and Clarence C. Jamison. The men received their silver wings and commissions as 2nd Lieutenants.[2][5][6] The U.S. Army Air Corps assigned Brooks to the 332nd Fighter Group's 99th Fighter Squadron. In April 1943, the squadron was stationed in North Africa.

On June 2, 1943, the 99th Fighter Squadron flew its first combat mission against the island of Pantelleria. [7] On June 9, 1943 while escorting bombers en route to the island of Pantelleria, Brooks, along with Charles Dryden, Willie Ashley, Lee Rayford, Leon Roberts and Spann Watson became the first African American fighter pilots in history to engage in aerial combat, encountering 12 enemy German aircraft.[8] The men damaged two German aircraft, forcing the others German aircraft to disengage.[9][10] As a result of sustained aerial efforts, Pantelleria surrendered on June 11, 1943.[11]

Unit Assignments[edit]

  • 1941–1942, AAF MOS 1055, Aviation Cadet Flight School, Tuskegee AAF[12]
  • 1942–1943, AAF MOS 1055, 99th Fighter Squadron, AL, French Morocco, Tunisia, Italy[13]
  • 1943–1943, AAF MOS 1055, 33rd Fighter Group, Qued N'ja, French Morocco; Fardjouna, Tunisia[14]
  • 1943–1943, AAF MOS 1055, 324th Fighter Group, Fardjouna Airfield[15]
  • 1943–1943, AAF MOS 1055, 33rd Fighter Group, Licata, Termini, & Barcellona Airfields, Sicily[16]

Awards[edit]

  • ★ World War II Victory Medal[17]
  • ★ Air Medal[18]
  • ★ Purple Heart[19]
  • ★ United States Aviator Badge[20]
  • ★ American Campaign Medal[21]
  • ★ Presidential Unit Citation (United States)[22]
  • ★ Army Good Conduct Medal[23]
  • ★ European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal[24]

Death[edit]

On Sep 17, 1943, Brooks was killed when he attempted an exigent crash landing back at his base in Italy. Though he had previously embarked on a mission, Brooks he encountered engine trouble, returning to base in poor visibility. As Brooks attempted a belly landing without jettisoning his belly tank, his tank sheared off and spewed fuel that engulfed his aircraft. Despite attending flight crew extinguishing Brooks' enflamed flight suit, Brooks died of secondary shock from burns and smoke inhalation.[25] Brooks was interred at the United States Soldiers' and Airmen's Home National Cemetery, Section Off S, SITE 41 in Washington, D.C..[26]

Brooks' wife Lucille remarried fellow Tuskegee Airmen colleague Edward L. Toppins. Tragically, Toppins would also die in an aircraft crash in Ohio six months after marrying Lucille.[27]

See also[edit]


Other articles of the topics Biography AND Aviation : Alberto Nassetti, Reginald V. Smith, Mac Ross, Henry B. Perry, Terry J. Charlton, Jr, Richard C. Caesar, Leon C. “Derailer” Roberts

Other articles of the topic Biography : List of senior career goals scored by Cristiano Ronaldo, Beverly W. Reid, Thomas Hickman (Louisiana politician), Amanda Debus, Eugene P. Campbell, R. Vasudevan (entrepreneur), Brooke Mitchell

Other articles of the topic Aviation : Alrosa-Avia, United Airlines Flight 1175, Skybridge AirOps, Smartwings QS-1125, Henry B. Perry, AnimaWings, Marquette Airlines
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  • Executive Order 9981
  • List of Tuskegee Airmen
  • List of Tuskegee Airmen Cadet Pilot Graduation Classes
  • Military history of African Americans

References[edit]

  1. Air Force- Together We Served. "Roll of Honor, U.S. Air Force -Fallen: Brooks, Sidney P., 2nd Lt, USAAF Veteran." https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfile&type=Person&ID=172037
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Tuskegee Airmen Pilot Roster". CAF Rise Above. CAF Rise Above. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  3. Air Force- Together We Served. "Roll of Honor, U.S. Air Force -Fallen: Brooks, Sidney P., 2nd Lt, USAAF Veteran." https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfile&type=Person&ID=172037
  4. U.S. Army. "Tuskegee Airmen Soared to New Heights." John J. Kurash, U.S. Army Military History Institute. May 8, 2007. https://www.army.mil/article/3028/tuskegee_airmen_soared_to_new_heights
  5. Tuskegee University. "List of Tuskegee Airmen." https://www.tuskegee.edu/support-tu/tuskegee-airmen/tuskegee-airmen-pilot-listing
  6. Caf Rise Above. "Tuskegee Airmen Pilot Roster." https://cafriseabove.org/the-tuskegee-airmen/tuskegee-airmen-pilot-roster/ . This data derives from Caf Rise Above's research project compiling data from Tuskegee Airmen historians including the Air Force Historical Research Agency.
  7. U.S. Army. "Tuskegee Airmen Soared to New Heights." John J. Kurash, U.S. Army Military History Institute. May 8, 2007. https://www.army.mil/article/3028/tuskegee_airmen_soared_to_new_heights
  8. U.S. Army. "Tuskegee Airmen Soared to New Heights." John J. Kurash, U.S. Army Military History Institute. May 8, 2007. https://www.army.mil/article/3028/tuskegee_airmen_soared_to_new_heights
  9. U.S. Army. "Tuskegee Airmen Soared to New Heights." John J. Kurash, U.S. Army Military History Institute. May 8, 2007. https://www.army.mil/article/3028/tuskegee_airmen_soared_to_new_heights
  10. Air Force- Together We Served. "Roll of Honor, U.S. Air Force -Fallen: Brooks, Sidney P., 2nd Lt, USAAF Veteran." https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfile&type=Person&ID=172037
  11. U.S. Army. "Tuskegee Airmen Soared to New Heights." John J. Kurash, U.S. Army Military History Institute. May 8, 2007. https://www.army.mil/article/3028/tuskegee_airmen_soared_to_new_heights
  12. Air Force- Together We Served. "Roll of Honor, U.S. Air Force -Fallen: Brooks, Sidney P., 2nd Lt, USAAF Veteran." https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfile&type=Person&ID=172037
  13. Air Force- Together We Served. "Roll of Honor, U.S. Air Force -Fallen: Brooks, Sidney P., 2nd Lt, USAAF Veteran." https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfile&type=Person&ID=172037
  14. Air Force- Together We Served. "Roll of Honor, U.S. Air Force -Fallen: Brooks, Sidney P., 2nd Lt, USAAF Veteran." https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfile&type=Person&ID=172037
  15. Air Force- Together We Served. "Roll of Honor, U.S. Air Force -Fallen: Brooks, Sidney P., 2nd Lt, USAAF Veteran." https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfile&type=Person&ID=172037
  16. Air Force- Together We Served. "Roll of Honor, U.S. Air Force -Fallen: Brooks, Sidney P., 2nd Lt, USAAF Veteran." https://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfile&type=Person&ID=172037
  17. Honor States. "Sidney P. Brooks." https://www.honorstates.org/index.php?id=323437
  18. Honor States. "Sidney P. Brooks." https://www.honorstates.org/index.php?id=323437
  19. Honor States. "Sidney P. Brooks." https://www.honorstates.org/index.php?id=323437
  20. Honor States. "Sidney P. Brooks." https://www.honorstates.org/index.php?id=323437
  21. Honor States. "Sidney P. Brooks." https://www.honorstates.org/index.php?id=323437
  22. Honor States. "Sidney P. Brooks." https://www.honorstates.org/index.php?id=323437
  23. Honor States. "Sidney P. Brooks." https://www.honorstates.org/index.php?id=323437
  24. Honor States. "Sidney P. Brooks." https://www.honorstates.org/index.php?id=323437
  25. Honor States. "Sidney P. Brooks." https://www.honorstates.org/index.php?id=323437
  26. Honor States. "Sidney P. Brooks." https://www.honorstates.org/index.php?id=323437
  27. Hanger 47. North American P-51B/C Mustang by Pro Modeler (Monogram). https://hangar47.com/p-51-bc-mustang-preview/


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