CBS4 Helps Find Son Of Decorated Pilot To Pass On Service Medals
DENVER (CBS4) – In an aircraft salvage yard in northeast Denver a military pilot’s story has recently been pieced together.
Earl Brooks Jr.’s story dates back to the 1930s and yet nobody related to him had been able to hear it. A nationwide search turned up no relatives – until now.
Charles and Susan Bayley found old photos and medals in the aircraft salvage yard they recently inherited near Stapleton. They wanted to share Earl Brooks Jr.’s story with CBS4 so that someone might come forward and say, “That was my grandfather,” or “great uncle.”
“One of our biggest fears is that we wouldn’t find somebody,” Charles Bayley said.
Earl Brooks Jr. has now brought four people together – The Bayleys and Randy and Cyndi Brooks. Randy is Earl’s son.
“We are really happy to have found you,” Charles told Randy.
Randy wasn’t aware that his father was a rugby player, swimmer and played tennis.
“I just found out he was a helicopter pilot,” Randy said.
Pages of a scrapbook chronicle the life of Earl Brooks; his time as a military pilot in China, his love of boxing and his travels.
“He was just awesome. He kind of reminded me of John Wayne,” Randy said.
For Randy it was seeing a picture of his late mother and father together that meant the most.
“It’s good memories,” Randy said with tears in his eyes.
“Something fell out, rolled under. I bent down and picked it up and found the medals,” Susan Bayley said.
“We don’t know how it got out here and it sounds like you don’t either,” Charles said to Randy.
“No,” Randy replied.
CBS4’s Suzanne McCarroll reported on Earl Brooks’ story in September and the assistance of some interested viewers helped her find Randy and Cyndi so that the belongings could get back to those they belong to. (STORY: Search On For Pilot’s Relatives To Pass On Service Medals)
Randy said his father passed away in 1995.
“It’s his history, it’s his life growing up,” Randy said.
The medals and the scrapbooks will offer some poignant insight into Randy’s father’s life, in some ways allowing Randy and his father to be back together again.