Ace of the Day: 1st Lt. James L. Brooks, USAAF (Ret)

JAMES L. BROOKS

First Lieutenant, USAAF (Ret)

WWII :: Confirmed Kills- 13

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Brooks Jim on P-51 Wing709James Lynn Brooks, was born on January 8, 1921, in Binton, Virginia. On April 6, 1942, he joined the Army as a private before being accepted for aviation cadet training on August 23. Upon graduation as a second lieutenant on May 24, 1943, he was sent to Panama where he flew P-39s and P-40s.

Lieutenant Brooks recorded his first victory over Campina on May 18, 1944, downing an Italian Fiat G-50. He shot down three Me-109s on May 24 and 29 and June 23, respectively, and became an ace on July 18 with the destruction of an Italian Mc-205.

Promoted to captain on September 9, 1944, Brooks remained in the Air Force and returned to combat during the Korean War. Sent to Korea, he flew F-86s with the 4th Fighter Group and participated in the first big all-jet air battle over the Yalu River involving twelve MiGs and four Sabres on December 22, 1950.

Brooks resigned from the Air Force on April 16, 1951, and joined North American Aviation as an engineering test pilot. He was one of the founders and first president of the American Fighter Aces Association and past president of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.

Decorations: Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with 20 Oak Leaf Clusters and a Unit Citation with one Oak Leaf Cluster

Source: American Fighter Aces Album ©1996

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