ECWG April talk on explorers’ discovery of WW II remains on Pacific island

 

Harry Brooks  and Jack Williams.  Photo by Darlene  Shields.

Harry Brooks MED93 and Jack Williams FN98.                Photo by Darlene Shields.

Harry Brooks, MED93-Sweeney  award, presented a talk “From Butaritari’s Coral Reefs to Arlington Cemetary ”  on April 11 ECWG dinner at the Cosmos Club. It centered on his group finding the WWII remains of an American Marine on Butaritari, an island in the western Pacific Ocean. The discovery led to the recovery and return the remains of  19 US Marines.

Harry Brooks, MED93-Sweeney; Dr. Thorn Winter, MN89; Susan Davis, MN 90; DR. Joe Rude, MN83 with TEC Butaritari Flag 146

Harry Brooks, MED93-Sweeney; Dr. Thorn Winter, MN89; Susan Davis, MN 90; DR. Joe Rude, MN83 with TEC Butaritari Flag 146

 

Brooks has carried The Explorers Club Flag on eight expeditions, including expeditions to Papua New Guinea, Roatan, Belize, the Tarawa Atoll, Midway Atoll, and Butaritari Atoll.

Although unplanned, Brook’s expedition to Butaritari discovered a skeleton that eventually resulted in the recovery of 11 US Marine Raiders, missing since 1942.

The Marines were killed during the Second Marine Raider Battalion’s raid on the island, which was then known as Makin Island.

The Marines’ remains were interred at Arlington Cemetery August 2001. For this, Harry was made an Honorary Marine

In addition to the Butaritari’ expedition,  Brooks has carried TEC Flags to Papaua New Guinea (entomology samples for the University of Georgia); Roatan Honduras (coral reef & fish survey); Belize (reef fish survey); Tarawa Atoll (coral reef survey); Midway Atoll (coral reef survey); Bonaire (survey of the Mary Bohn); Easter Island (search for Dutch founder’s anchor; ; and two ethno diversity and biodiversity studies in the Peruvian Amazon (one with 11 Atlanta area students).

Although unplanned, Harry’s expedition to Butaritari discovered a skeleton that eventually resulted in the recovery of 11 US Marine Raiders, missing since 1942. The Marines were brought home and interned in Arlington Cemetery in August 2001.

The Marines were brought home and interned in Arlington National Cemetery in August 2001.

Brooks was elected a Fellow of The Explorers Club in 1993. in addition to being  a Sweeney Medalist, he has served The Explorers Club as a Director for 6 years, the Atlanta Chapter Chair for 4 years, , and chair of several committees including Flag & Honors, Legal, Nominating, and Membership. He was also the assistant treasurer and the Club Ombudsman. e currently  serves on Flags &Honors Committee.

After graduating from the University of South Carolina, Brooks joined the U. S. Marine Corps where he served as a Naval Flight Officer flying the F4 Phantom. After 7 years in the Marines Brooks served in the Air National Guard where he flew the RF4C and the F105G Wild Weasel.

While attending law school at night, Brooks began his career at International Loss Management as an air safety investigator and aviation claims adjuster. He has investigated over 5,000 aviation accidents and incidents. Harry has spoken to many aviation insurance and air safety groups, including the NTSB, the FAA and the Aviation Insurance Association (among others). He has consulted with major law firms and testified as a pilot expert.

In addition to his finance and law degrees, our speaker has graduated from several military schools including Marine Corps Air Combat School, the Navy Air Intelligence School, USAF Fighter Weapons, USAF Electronic Warfare and the Air Force Flying Safety Course at the University of Souther California.

Harry with Dr. Hayes Wilson submerged in Midway Atoll; EC Flag 146

Harry with Dr. Hayes Wilson submerged in Midway Atoll; EC Flag 146He  is an active commercial pilot and advanced scuba diver. He lives in Norcross, GA with his wife, Leslie.

Forthcoming 2015 ECWG Cosmos Club Dinners are:

May 16, 2015: Dr.Hans-Peter Plag: Accommodating to impacts of climate change.

September. 19 – Kathy Sullivan,Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator

The date for the June picnic at Virginia farm of Dr. Stephen Seagar

Speakers for November 21, and December 5 not yet confirmed.
_____________________________________________Tickets, other details about the April 11, 2015 dinner
Time: 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Location: The Cosmos Club, 2121 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20008
Cost: $55 per person for set meal.
RSVP by Tuesday, April 7, 2015.  Please contact Arnella Trent at:

Postal: 115 Willis Street; Cambridge, MD 21613-1618

Telephone: 301.526.0822

email: Arnellat@gmail.com
Reservations for Saturday, April 11, 2015

Please reserve ______places for

Title of Talk Flag 146: Butaritari Coral Reef Survey & Bringing Home the Marine Raiders

If you are reserving by mail please complete the form below and mail it to Ms Trent:

Your name _______________________________________________________

Guest name(s) ____________________________________________________

Number of vegetarian meals (if any) desired _____________________________

Organization Affiliation if other than ECWG ______________________________

Number of dinners @ $55 each ______________

Enclosed is a check for $___________ payable to ECWG

No cancellations will be accepted after noon, Tuesday, April 7, 2015

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