"LT. RAY BROOKS'S LAST VICTORY"

BY ROY GRINNELL

L/e of 1,250. Signed by Ray Brooks.

Size:24" x 30"

Price: $175


American Fighter Aces
Series 1

Arthur Raymond Brooks was born in Framingham, Massachusetts, on 1 November, 1895. Following flight training in Canada and Texas, he was assigned to the 139th Aero Squadron in France, where he scored his first victory flying the SPAD VII on 19 July, 1918. He transferred to the 22nd Aero Squadron, equipped with the newer SPAD XIII and scored the first victory for the 22nd, a Rumpler, on 2 September, 1918. Over the next few weeks, Brooks downed four more, attaining his sixth victory on 9 October. For his exploits, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

Heavy fog shrouded the American airdrome at Ceil, France, on October 9, 1918. At noon it began to clear allowing Lt. A. Raymond Brooks to take off, leading a flight of seven other SPAD XIIIs of the 22nd Acro Squadron. Brooks was flying number 20, with the inscription "Smith IV" beneath the cockpit, in honor of his fiancee who attended Smith College in North Hampton, Massachusetts. They climbed out to 3,500 meters, setting their course for the Verdun area. At 13:50 hours they spotted four German two-place D.F.W. observation planes escorted by nearly a dozen Fokker D-VIIs. Brooks led his flight to the attack. In the ensuing battle one D.F.W. fell to Brooks' guns. Flight member Lt. Clinton Jones downed another, which brought his total to five and made him an ace. This proved to be Ray Brooks' last victory for just over a month later the war was over.