Sadieville in Scott County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
Robert H. Brooks
(1915 - 1941)
Born Oct. 8, 1915, in Sadieville, this African American entered an "all white" National Guard unit before WW II began. As a private in Co. D, 192nd Tank Battalion, he was stationed in the Philippine Islands. Brooks was killed Dec. 8, 1941, during the initial Japanese bombing of Clark Field, near Fort Stotensburg.
Brooks, at age 26, was officially declared the first U.S. Armored Forces casualty of WW II. He is buried in the American~Manila Cemetery in the Philippine Islands. The main parade ground at Fort Knox was named Brooks Field in his honor on December 23, 1941.
Erected 1999 by Kentucky Historical Society - Kentucky Department of Highways. (Marker Number 2037.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Kentucky Historical Society marker series.
Location. 38° 23.385′ N, 84° 32.22′ Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 690 Pike Street, Sadieville KY 40370, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Stonetown (approx. 11.1 miles away); Buffalo Springs (approx. 11.6 miles away); Stamping Ground (approx. 11.6 miles away); Hemp in Scott County / Hemp in Kentucky (approx. 11.7 miles away); Cardome (approx. 11.7 miles away); Silas Baptist Church (approx. 12.2 miles away); First Baptist Church (approx. 12.3 miles away); Payne-Desha House / Joseph Desha (1768-1842) (approx. 12.4 miles away).
More about this marker. Marker is displayed in front of the City of Sadieville City Hall.
Also see . . .
1. Kentucky National Guard in WWII. [pg. 22:] ... A letter of condolence was sent to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Brooks, who were sharecroppers on a farm near Sadieville. The Army learned that the light-skinned Brooks was black and may have lied about his race when drafted. Had it been known that he was black, Brooks would not have been allowed to serve with the 192nd Tank Battalion, as the armed forces were not yet integrated.
Preparation for the dedication of [the Fort Knox parade ground in honor of Brooks] were well under way when [Armored Forces Commander] Maj. Gen. Jacob L. Devers was informed that Brooks was black.
He promptly ordered that no aspect of the arrangements be changed [and stated the following in his speech at the dedication ceremony:]
"The soldiers and sailors guarding our outposts are giving their lives. In death there is no grade or rank. And, in this the greatest Democracy the world has known, neither riches nor poverty, neither creed nor race draws a line of demarcation in the hour of national crisis." (Submitted on November 20, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. Biography of Pvt. Robert H. Brooks. Website is the Bataan Commemorative Research Project, dedicated to the 192nd Tank Battalion. Included on this page is a picture of Pvt. Brooks' grave marker and a link to pictures of the Brooks Field marker in Fort Knox, KY. (Submitted on September 13, 2010, by Jim Opolony of Huntley, Illinois.)
Additional keywords. Bi-racial soldier in the "Jim Crow" U.S. Army of WWII; Luzon, Philippines.
Categories. • African Americans • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Notable Persons • War, World II •
More. Search the internet for Robert H. Brooks.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 7, 2009, by Matt Carter of Lexington, Kentucky. This page has been viewed 1,271 times since then and 14 times this year. Last updated on April 21, 2014, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 7, 2009, by Matt Carter of Lexington, Kentucky. 3. submitted on April 21, 2014, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 4. submitted on February 4, 2014, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.