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New York - Consulat Général du Luxembourg > News > WWII US Veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, Mr. Richard W... >

WWII US Veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, Mr. Richard W. Brookins a.k.a. “The American St Nick” passed away on October 11, 2018 in Rochester, NY, at the age of 96 years old.

Published Tuesday October 16 2018

Born in 1922, Richard W. Brookins was 22 years old when he joined the US Army. 

Since the start of the war, the festivities of St. Nicolas were forbidden by the enemy in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Corporal of the 28th US Infantry Signal Company Message Center, Mr. Brookins was stationed in the recently liberated city of Wiltz, Luxembourg. On December 5, 1944, Mr. Brookins dressed as St. Nicolas for the children of Wiltz and brought back the tradition and smiles on their faces. Up until 70 years later, Mr. Brookins came back numerous times to Wiltz, to reenact this day… with time to bring joy to the children and grand-children of the children of 1944.

On July 7, 2016, Mr. Brookins was officially awarded the Gold Cross of Honor and Military merit granted to him by H.R.H. Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg in recognition of his extraordinary acts of kindness and support to civilian morale during one of the most challenging periods of Luxembourg’s history.

The story of Mr. Brookins, commonly known both in Luxembourg and in the USA, as “The American St. Nick” is told in the book “The American St. Nick” by author Peter Lion, and in the documentary “The American St. Nick” by Tim Gray.


Death announcement:


July 7, 2016 – Medal Ceremony (2 articles):