Born in Brookfield, Mass., in 1783, John Brooks, Jr., was appointed a 2d Lieutenant, USMC, 1 October 1807. He commanded the detachment of Marines on Commodore Perry's flagship, Lawrence, and was killed in action during the Battle of Lake Erie 10 September 1813.
(DD-232: dp. 1215; l. 314'4"; b. 31'8"; dr. 9'10"; s. 33.2 k.; cpl. 130; a. 4 5", 1 3", 12 21" TT.; cl .Clemson)
Brooks (Destroyer No. 232) was launched 24 April 1919 by New York Shipbuilding Co., Camden, N.J.; sponsored by Mrs. George S. Keyes, grandniece of Lieutenant Brooks; and commissioned 18 June 1920, Lieutenant D. M. Dalton in command.
Brooks left Philadelphia for European waters 26 August 1920. She was first assigned to the Baltic Patrol for a short time and then the Naval Forces in the Adriatic. She joined the United States Naval Forces in Turkish waters in June 1921. Brooks departed for the United States 26 September 1921 and arrived at New York City 19 October. She was then assigned to the Scouting Fleet, U.S. Fleet, and participated in Fleet maneuvers in the Caribbean, Atlantic, and pacific until placed out of commission in reserve at Philadelphia Navy Yard 20 January 1921.
Brooks was recommissioned at Philadelphia Navy Yard 18 June 1932 and assigned to the Scouting Force, participating in fleet operations on both coasts until going out of commission in reserve at Philadelphia 2 September 1938. She was recommissioned 25 April 1939 and assigned to the Neutrality Patrol on the Atlantic coast where she remained until she joined the Local Defense Force, 13th Naval District, in November 1940. Brooks was operating with his force when the United States entered World War II.
As a patrol and escort ship, Brooks operated between California, Washington, and Alaska during the first year of World War II. On 20 September 1942 she arrived at Seattle, Wash., to commence conversion to a high speed transport. On 1 December 1942 her classification was changed to APD-10 and she was assigned to the South Pacific.
She served as a transport and minesweeper during the Lae, New Guinea, landings (4-14 September 1943); Finschhafen, New Guinea, landings (22 and 29-30 September); Cape Gloucester, New Britain, assault (26 and 28-29 December); Saidor, New Guinea, landings (2 January-17 February 1944); Admiralty Islands landings (29 February-5 March and 19 March); Hollandia, New Guinea, assault (22-28 April); capture of Saipan (14-22 June); Leyte occupation (18 November-4 December); Mindoro invasion (12-18 December); and the Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, landings (3-6 January 1945).
On 6 January 1945 a Japanese suicide plane crashed into Brooks' port side starting a fire amidships. The main and auxiliary steam lines were severed; the fire main broken; and the sea valve to the condenser was pierced, causing the forward engine room to flood. Three of Brooks' crew were killed and 11 wounded. She was towed to San Pedro, Calif., by SS Watch Hill and decommissioned there 2 August 1945. Brooks was sold 30 January 1946.
Brooks received the Navy Unit Commendation and six battle stars for her World War II service.
1 December 2005