Never Forgotten: 1st Lt. Glenn U. Brooks, Jr.
The remains of 1st Lt. Brooks were never recovered, and he is eternally memorialized on the Walls of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery.
JEANNE BROOKS RHINEHART: My father, Glenn U. Brooks, Jr., is memorialized at Cambridge. His name is on the wall of the missing. He was a lieutenant, and he was in the Army Air Corps, and he was a pilot of a B-17 bomber. My dad died March 22, 1943 and I was born April 22nd ’43.
He was 25-years-old when he died. He loved what he did. He was eager to serve, and I just wish that..there’s time I’ve thought, even if I get to spend one day with him, I would have given anything just to have one day with him.
My dad was flying out of England. That particular day they were on a raid of Wilhemstinum, Germany. They had dropped their bombs and it was upon returning from Wilumshavum that a lone German fighter pilot was above the formation, and unfortunately he had one bomb in his bomb bay. So he opened that bomb bay and dropped the bomb, and it came down and clipped the wing of my dad’s plane, and the plane just plummeted into the sea. It was the only plane that was knocked out of the sky. And unfortunately the whole crew was lost. Their had been reports that the plane made a good landing on the water, but we didn’t know that the North Sea is very cold and chance of survival, unless they were immediately rescued was next to impossible.
Mother would talk about a little bit about the day she received the telegram telling her that my dad was missing. I can’t imagine how it must have felt, but it did only say that he was missing. And I know my mother for the longest time, and especially being encouraged by my dad’s father, there had to be hope, there was hope. You know, something will happen. Glenn will get out of this. But in the end, it wasn’t to be.
You constantly are wondering what your life would have been like had your father lived. And so many times I’ve thought to myself, what is it like for a little girl to come up beside her father’s chair, if he’s sitting in the chair relaxing, what it would be like to just climb up in his lap and have him hold you in his arms. I’ve never experienced that. That was tough to think about that. It’s one of many things I’ve thought about. I mean it’s something you live with continuiously. It never gets any better and it never goes away.
I’m very, very proud of my father. His sacrifice certainly needs to be remembered and honored and never forgotten. It’s amazing to have him memorialized at Cambridge. Cambridge is a beautiful cemetery. I’ve seen pictures. I know it’s in an area where it’s respected. It’s where it’s seen by many visitors, and although I haven’t been there, I haven’t given up the hope of maybe someday getting there but I just want the people to stop for a minute, look at those crosses, look at those graves, those stars, and know that in that family there was a definite hole because someone was sadly missed.