The National Postal Museum announced yesterday that they have accepted a donation from the collection of the late Dr. George S. Brooks of Winchester, Kentucky. The donation consists of three volumes of postally used envelopes that Dr. Brooks assembled in honor of his son LTJG George S. Brooks, Jr. USN, who was lost at sea aboard the submarine USS Pompano off the coast of Japan during World War II.
Pompano left Midway Island on patrol August 20, 1943 and never returned; its exact fate has never been conclusively determined. The elder Brooks channeled pride and grief for his son into collecting military mail that chronicled the hardships and sacrifices of wartime, especially the difficulties faced by military personnel and civilians in communicating from forward areas, secret locations and prisoner-of-war camps. Some of the last envelopes exchanged by Lieutenant Brooks and his parents – one marked simply “missing” – are an especially poignant part of the collection.
The donation was made by George S. Brooks II, accompanied by his wife, Kathy, and other members of his family. Mr. Brooks is the grandson of Dr. Brooks and the nephew of Lieutenant Brooks.
“Besides adding considerable depth to our military mail collections, the Brooks family’s gift will make it possible for the National Postal Museum to share their grandfather’s passion for collecting with others,” said Daniel Piazza, chief curator of philately.