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Reginald Langhorne "Peter" Brooks
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Birth: 1902
Death: Oct., 1944


According to the death notice from TIME Magazine, November 6, 1944 issue, Reginald (Peter) would have been born around 1902.

Died. Reginald Langhorne (Pete) Brooks, 42, New York socialite, flying enthusiast, nephew of British M.P. Lady Nancy Astor; in his Miami Shores, Fla. home, presumably by suicide. In 1933 he married Aline Rhonie Bamberger, set off on a 17,000 mile aerial honeymoon flying his own plane, his bride another "because both liked to do the piloting." They were divorced in 1937.


From the Davis Monthan Aviation Field Register

"Mrs. Peter Brooks"

The signer of our Register, "Mrs. Peter Brooks", depending on your source, was known as Pat Brooks, Rhonie Brooks, Aline Brooks, Aline H. Bamberger Rhonie-Brooks and Aline Rhonie Hofheimer. Aline was born in York, PA on August 16, 1909, daughter of Arthur and Helen Milius Hofheimer. Both she and her new husband, Peter, were independently wealthy, as you may determine from their activites and family backgrounds cited below.

As well as being a pioneering female flyer and Register signer, Aline Brooks was a fine artist who worked under the name Aline Rhonie. Her renown reaches today. There are many Web sources that feature her works. She studied mural painting with Diego Rivera in Mexico. Several books (see those cited in the left sidebar) include her artistic and aeronautical exploits among their pages. She was an early adopter of flight technology, and an early promoter of aviation and women's places in it. As you will see below, she excelled at these things despite contemporary prejudices against women and Jews.

In 1933 Aline, with private pilot license #17023, married Peter Brooks and set off on a 17,000 mile aerial honeymoon flying their own planes, "because both liked to do the piloting." It is not certain, but we probably see them above during that journey. I have no record of just how long they spent on their honeymoon, but it was probably a good long time, given the distance they covered (if they averaged a hundred or so miles per day, they were traveling for six months or so). The Brooks landed at Tucson together in these airplanes on Tuesday, March 20, 1934 at 3:00 PM. Based at New York, NY (probably Roosevelt Field), they arrived from Mexico City, Mexico on their way to Los Angeles, CA.

"Peter Brooks"

The signer of our Register, "Peter Brooks", was Reginald Langhorne Brooks, New York socialite, flying enthusiast and nephew of British M.P. Lady Nancy Astor. He visited Tucson with his wife as described above, but he also visited and signed our Register a few years earlier.

He arrived solo on Tuesday, February 1, 1928 at 12:30PM. He was flying in Waco ASO NC1382 (S/N 823, manufactured in 1927). Based in Valley Stream, NY (probably Roosevelt Field), he was westbound from El Paso, TX to Los Angeles, CA. He remained in Tucson overnight, continuing his journey the next day at 8:00AM.

From the Fox reference in the left sidebar (p. 397), we find this description of Peter's living quarters about the time he was married to Aline.

"Peter's apartment was not the sort of place Winkie [Peter's brother, David] could have brought his friends, or indeed, one would have imagined, a new bride. It had been turned into an aviation museum: the curtains were made from parachute silk, the bar from the side of a biplane, the wastepaper basket from a fuel tank, the desk supported by propellers, the ashtrays from cylinder heads and lamps from a crankshaft. He had a sound system that produced the noise of engines roaring and idling, even a device to put out different smells, ‘dear to the heart of a flier.' Suspended from the walls and ceiling were pictures of the dogfights of Richthofen's flying circus."

His was an extraordinary "man cave."

Peter Brooks and Aline were married ca. May, 1933.

"In the same month, May 1933, Phyllis received a cable from Peter telling her that he had married his girlfriend, Aline Rhonie, whom Phyllis had met only once. She was the daughter of Arthur Hofheimer of Warrenville, New Jersey, who owned the Bamberger department store. Aline, too, was a high-profile flier and something of a star. She was also a painter, who had spent some time as a pupil of Diego Rivera, and had painted a mural in the clubhouse at Roosevelt Field aerodrome in the Rivera style, an homage to aviation and progress.

"'I was swept off my feet by Peter's cable,' Phyllis wrote, in shock and disapproval …. ‘I can't say it was exactly a surprise as that is the sort of thing Peter would do, but to this particular person I am surprised, as he told me he would never think of marrying her as she was a Jewess… Poor Pete—I hope he hasn't married because he was lonesome … I hope and pray he has done the right thing. There was something independent about the girl that I liked and she was certainly very pretty, and she must by now know Peter.'

"Aline then wrote to Phyllis, ‘Peter is the most wonderful person—I've tried for two years to find every reason for not getting married. Now I'm the happiest girl in the world. Have been worried a long time about bringing my Jewish blood into your family, but Peter and I have the same views on this subject. As it hasn't been in my life he doesn't want it to seem important….'

"Their honeymoon was an aviation publicity stunt with major news coverage—a seventeen-thousand-mile flight around the American continent in their separate planes, communicating to each other, in the absence of radios, with flapping wing signals."

additional information courtesy of Christina11 in the forums. 
Family links: 
  Reginald Brooks (1876 - 1945)
  Phyllis Langhorne Brand (1880 - 1937)
  Reginald Langhorne Brooks (1902 - 1944)
  David Brooks (1910 - 1936)*
  Virginia Brand Ford (1918 - 1998)**
*Calculated relationship
Woodlawn Cemetery
Bronx County
New York, USA
Created by: ditdit
Record added: Aug 09, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 40461513
Reginald Langhorne Peter Brooks
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Neil Funkhouser
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RIP, Peter....Peace....
- Taphophile
 Added: Mar. 1, 2013

- nk
 Added: Jan. 24, 2013

- ditdit
 Added: Dec. 6, 2010
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