World War II POW returns home to be buried 81 years after his death

A World War Two veteran is finally coming home after being identified in June.
Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 7:53 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - A World War Two veteran is finally coming home after being identified in June.

U.S Army Prive First-Class Thomas Franklin Brooks, known as Frank, will be laid to rest near his childhood home in Edmonson County in October as the community honors his ultimate sacrifice.

Frank died from malnourishment after surviving eight months in a Japanese prisoner camp in the Philippines. The family is happy to be able to fulfill his mother’s wishes from 75 years ago.

“In doing this research, we found a letter from his sister,” said family spokesperson Paula Ratliff. “Who sent a letter up to Washington saying “I know you’re really busy, but can you please try to find our brother we would like to bring him home. It’s what mother wished. “”

Frank was a family man who traveled home from his Fort Knox post quite frequently. He was described as a strong and robust man providing a legacy of eternal greatness.

“In a postcard that he sent back home to his parents,” Ratliff said. “We do not have the postcard, but we have a record of it. He told his parents, now this is during the intense fighting, that he didn’t even have a scratch yet. We know he was very strong and very committed to protecting our country.”

The identification of Private Brooks is proof that even after decades of not knowing, answers can still be found, and families can still find relief.

It also sheds light on a part of history that may be unknown to many Americans.

“It’s a good thing for our country that we are continuing to research and identify people that have given their lives for our country,” Ratliff said. “We are still bringing them home with honor and keeping that history alive.”

A date for the procession has not yet been confirmed although it is expected to take place in early October. It is confirmed that it will take place at Patton Funeral Home in Brownsville, Kentucky near Private Brooks childhood home.