72 years later, our two surviving soldiers reconnect

Posted: April 5, 2018 in Men of the 111th Ordnance Company

Tomorrow is the 97th birthday of 111th veteran Osborne Eastwood. He and his former company commander, Art Brooks, are now the only surviving members of what was once a 180-man unit during WW II.

Osborne Eastwood photo at VA hospital AR

Recent photo of Osborne in the lobby of the VA Hospital near his home in Arkansas

The other day Art’s daughter Louise came up with a terrific idea: to have her father call Osborne to wish him a happy birthday. So this past Tuesday evening, with help from Osborne’s niece Carolyn, the two men connected after 72 years. Although we don’t know exactly what was said, I heard this from Louise shortly after: “My father just spoke to Osborne, and what a lovely conversation and such a nice reunion they had.”

We spoke with Art yesterday morning, and he said he really enjoyed recounting war memories with Osborne. “I had to remind him that he didn’t need to call me ‘Captain Brooks’ anymore,” he laughed. Keep in mind that Art is 100 years old (see the October 2017 posting on this site about his milestone birthday).

Osborne and Art were in the 111th for almost the entire war, and then some. They both joined the unit in the summer of 1942, at Camp Bowie, Texas. Together, they shared the experiences of the unit’s journey through Maryland, Canada, New Jersey, and Virginia before boarding a ship in New York harbor in the fall of 1943 for a stormy and dangerous 12-day voyage to Great Britain. There they spent seven months preparing for the Normandy invasion in June 1944. Both men were finally able to return to the U.S. in the fall of 1945 from their last assignment near Bremen, Germany.

We are blessed to have these strong and wonderful men still with us. Happy birthday, Osborne!

Osborne Eastwood with wife 2016

Eva and Osborne Eastwood

osborne eastwood

Osborne Eastwood, in Germany, 1945

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Comments
  1. Pat (Raymer) Macchiarolo says:

    Happy Happy Birthday to Osborne on his 99th birthday. AND, thank you very much for protecting my dad and getting him (and the rest of the 11th) safely back home again.

  2. Tom Sedlacek says:

    Very nice article!
    Happy Spring to the families of the
    111th.
    The Joe Sedlacek family

  3. Edwin Herbert Sutcliffe says:

    What a great thing. We are so fortunate to part of this wonderful 111th family

  4. Kay McAnally says:

    What a wonderful story! Thanks so much for sharing it – I’m sure I speak for all of the readers when I say it put a smile on many faces.

  5. Kay McAnally says:

    I would like to thank the two men of the 111th for their service to our country. I am grateful.

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