GEORGE M. BROOKE, CDR, USN
George Brooke '21
Date of birth: March 15, 1898
Date of death: February 28, 1945
From the 1921 Lucky Bag:
George was lost on February 28, 1945, while in a Japanese POW camp. He had survived three Hell Ships:
In December 1944, he was boarded onto the Oryoku Maru for transport to Japan. The ship was sunk by American planes at Subic Bay, Philippine Islands, on December 15, 1944. The surviving POWs were boarded onto the Enoura Maru which reached Takao, Formosa. While docked it was bombed by American planes on January 9, 1945, killing many of the POWs. The surviving POWs were boarded onto the Brazil Maru and reached Japan on January 29, 1945.
George's command, USS Luzon (PR 7), made a treacherous voyage from China to the Philippines in late November 1941 with Rear Admiral Glassgow, commander of the Yangtze River Patrol, aboard. George had taken command sometime in 1940.
From Hall of Valor:
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Commander George Magruder Brooke (NSN: 0-34000), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the River Gunboat U.S.S. LUZON (PR-7), during the periods 7 to 22 December 1941, and from 30 December 1941 to 28 April 1942, in the Philippine Islands. While exposed to frequent horizontal and dive bombing attacks by enemy Japanese air forces, Commander Brooke directed the anti-aircraft batteries of his ship and conducted operations of strategic important involving hazardous missions such as to bring great credit to his command and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
General Orders: Commandant, 16th Naval District, Dispatch 281200-NCR-7859 (April 29, 1942)