From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Brooks, Robert H.

(born: 1915  -  died: 1941) 

Robert H. Brooks was born in Sadieville, KY, the son of Adeline Neal Brooks and Ray Brooks. He was the first African American to die in World War II, during the bombing of Clark Field in the Philippines. The main parade ground in Fort Knox, Brooks Field, is named in his honor.

Brooks was passing for white when he joined the National Guard. He was assigned to Company D of the 192nd Tank Battalion. The U.S. Army learned that Brooks was African American after his death.

For more see Annie Brown, "A hero’s legacy: 80th anniversary of first Armored Forces casualty in World War Two," 12/8/2021 at the WTVQ website; Brenda Edwards, "Brooks was first U.S. Armored Forces casualty in WWII," 12/13/2019, at the Advocate-Messenger website; "Black History Month: Robert H. Brooks" The Courier-Journal, 2/6/2009, News section, p. 3B.; and the historical marker in his honor in Sadieville, KY on The Historical Marker Database.

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NKAA Source: Courier-Journal [Louisville] (newspaper)

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“Brooks, Robert H.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 15, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-08-11 16:51:54