I need a photo of him. If you can help, please contact me.
Sidney Johnson Brooks Jr.
Collection of Charles Rice, 4-4-05
quotes from
Peyton, Green, "50 years of Aerospace Medicine",
AFSC Historical Publications series 67-180, 1968
Courtesy of Dave Lam, 2-11-05
      "In the Spring of 1918 the field had been renamed-- this time in memory of a San Antonio native, 22 year old Cadet Sidney Johnson Brooks, who had crashed upon his return to Kelly Field from the final qualifying flight for his commission and his pilot's wings on November 13, 1917.
     Young Brooks was the son of a prominent San Antonio attorney... He had enrolled in the University of Texas at Austin. Midway through his second year, in January 1914, he had left the University because of poor health. ..he worked for a while as a reporter for an afternoon newspaper, The Light.
     In 1916, Brooks had been well enough to return to his studies at the University. This time he had stayed on until the entry of the US into the European War the next spring. He had then enlisted in the Army. After ground instruction at Camp Funston, Alabama, and later at the aviation school in Austin, he had reported to Kelly Field for flight training. He had been there almost four months, and had marked up twenty hours in the air on the day of his fatal solo.
     The flight was across country to the town of Hondo, thirty miles away, and back to Kelly. As the formation was on its approach to the field, at a height of about 2,000 feet, Brooks's plane was seen to nose over in a moderately steep dive. It flew straight into the ground. Eye witnesses were of the opinion that Brooks had lost consciousness as he was getting ready to land. He was said to have received some immunization shots in the morning, not long before the flight."

via email from Charles Rice, 4-4-05
     I don't have much information on Sidney J. Brooks Jr, but I'm happy to pass on what I have.
      Sidney Johnson Brooks Jr was born on 21 May 1895. He was killed in the fatal crash on 13 November 1917.
     Brooks' father was Sidney Johnson Brooks Sr, who had actually been named Albert Sidney Johnston Brooks by his Confederate veteran father and appears as such in the 1870 census. (Albert Sidney Johnston commanded the Confed Army at the Battle of Shiloh.) The senior Brooks' parents were John Anderson Brooks and Nancy Vonn Rice of Webster Co., KY. They had been married 4 March 1861, shortly before the Civil War began. John Anderson Brooks served in Co. A, 13th Kentucky Cavalry (CSA). He survived the war, but died in 1868 or '69. His widow remarried on 25 January 1871 to William Clay Kuykendall, who apparently had been her husband's captain during the war. Kuykendall moved his family to Texas about 1879, and they are found in the 1880 census in Brown Co. -- with the two Brooks children (Rachel and Sidney) mistakenly listed as Kuykendalls too. She had one child with Kuykendall, a son named Rice Kuykendall.
      Here is a short bio of Sidney Brooks Sr from the 1934 Members of the Bar Association from San Antonio:
      "Sidney J. Brooks was born in Dixon, Kentucky 4 October 1866. He was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1890. He was educated at the University of Arkansas. He received his legal education at the University of Virginia. He was Judge of the 57th Judicial District, Texas, 1899-1904. He's a member of the Phi Delta Phi fraternity and the San Antonio, Texas State, and American Bar Associations."
      I'm sorry to say I know next to nothing about Sid Jr. My cousin, the late Dr. Laban Lacy Rice (1870-1973) was a son of Nancy Vonn Rice's brother, Laban M. Rice. He told me about visiting the family before the accident, but didn't say much about his young cousin. The Brooks home has appeared in a book on American haunted houses, but is NOT haunted by cousin Sid.
Hope this helps a little.
Charles Rice

     If you search for "Sidney Johnson Brooks", using the Google search engine, (2-12-05), you will find about six links.
Cadet Sidney J. Brooks
     This page on the Brooks Air Force Base website offers a photograph of him and a short, but comprehensive revue of his life and career. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.

       Cadet Sidney Johnson Brooks crashed upon his return to Kelly Field from the final qualifying flight for his commission and his pilot's wings on November 13, 1917.
from "50 years of Aerospace Medicine"
Sidney Johnson Brooks Jr.
Collection of Sarah Reveley, 6-26-05
Alamo Masonic Cemetery
Collection of Sarah Reveley, 6-26-05
Family Group
Left to right: Sidney Johnson Brooks Sr., Clara Swearingen Brooks,
Sidney Johnson Brooks Jr.
Collection of Sarah Reveley, 6-26-05

Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this pioneer aviator,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper
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