MACDONALD BROOKE HALSEY
Lieutenant Brooke Halsey was killed in action in Vietnam on July 21, 1969, after two
weeks in that country.
Brooke came to Princeton from California’s Thatcher school, the fifth Halsey to attend
Princeton since 1879. At Thatcher, Brooke had tempered his verbal skills as member of
the Notes Board and pivotal figure in the Debate Club; his tennis game was even then
acute enough to make him a varsity mainstay. But his true love is reflected in the
recollection that Brooke showed “ a profound knowledge of positively everything that has
happened in America.”
At Princeton, theses dimensions deepened. Brooke played freshman tennis and was an
active member of the Press Club: he was correspondent for the Newark Evening News,
spent summers working for the Press Club in Princeton, and became its vice president.
A member of Colonial Club, he majored in history, writing his thesis on the intricacies
of American involvement in World War I.
The year after graduation, Brooke taught American history at the American Community
School in Beirut, Lebanon. There he was delighted by the potential of the teaching
profession, but was even more intrigued by Middle Eastern politics, read extensively in
the field, and traveled throughout that area on vacations. Evacuated during the Six-Day
War, he spent the following fall working for the Job Corps in Jersey City, awaiting
induction. While more aware than most that he had to be in the Army, he was not of it,
and continued his outside interests while at Fort Dix and Fort Benning.
For his wonderful sense of whimsy and the absurd, for his innocence without naivete,
for his patriotism without fanaticism, for his F.D.R. imitations and baseball statistics, for
his curious vehicular disability (he had a wonderful story about running into a cow at Ft.
Benning), we shall miss him.
To his grandmother, Mrs. Woodruff Halsey ’10, his parents,
Mr. and Mrs. Macdonald Halsey ’40, brother Woody ’69, and sister Comfort go our
thanks for his friendship, and our deepest sympathy. (PAW, June 9, 1970)