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Leonard Brooks, at 90, keeps a full day; recalls his service in ordnance unit

World War II veteran Leonard Brooks of Gloucester is a man of many talents, and at age 90, maintains a full schedule and doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

Brooks, who regularly volunteers at the Gloucester Library and is the oldest member of the Gloucester Ruritan Club, said his journey in life began in Philadelphia, Pa. While still in high school, Brooks excelled in his first job in a carpenter’s shop. “My instructor told me I was a good carpenter, but I should be in a machine shop,” he said.

After transferring to a machine shop, Brooks began to excel in his work with metals and all types of tools. Soon, that instructor told him he should go work in a welding shop, as several shipyards were set to be open in the area soon and could use workers.

When a shipyard in New Jersey opened, Brooks was hired and did a lot of welding work inside oil tankers that were being built. Brooks, small in stature, was able to crawl in between the port holes of the ship...

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