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Last Surviving American WWI Vet, Dies at Age 110

Last Surviving American WWI Vet, Dies at Age 110

Frank Buckles (pictured l. in his 1917 enlistment photo) died at the age of 110, almost three years after becoming the last surviving American WWI veteran.

New York Daily News via YellowBrix

February 28, 2011

CHARLES TOWN, W. VA – A chapter of American History has officially closed.

Frank Buckles, the last surviving American veteran of World War I, died of natural causes Sunday at the age of 110 in his Charles Town, W. Va., home, a family spokesman said in a statement.

Eager to serve his country and escape the tedium of farm life in Missouri, Buckles told the Daily News in 2008 that he lied about his age to enlist.

He was 16 when he shipped off to France in 1917 to join the ambulance corps with the serial No. 15577 — one of 4.7 million Americans to serve in “The War to End All Wars” against Germany.

“I always knew I’d be one of the last because I was one of the youngest when I joined,” Buckles said in his interview with the Daily News, after he became the last surviving member of those 4.7 million.

“But I never thought I’d be the last one.”

Even after the war, Buckles couldn’t escape the battlefield. In 1941, Buckles was captured by the Japanese in the Philippines while working as a purser for a steamship company. He languished for more than three years in prison camps before he was rescued in a military raid.

“I was never actually looking for adventure,” Buckles once told The Associated Press. “It just came to me.”

He also wasn’t looking for the fame that came his way in 2008, when the second-to-last American veteran of World War I, Harry Richard Landis of Florida, passed away. But once he achieved the status of last surviving veteran, Buckles helped lobby to rededicate the existing District of Columbia World War I memorial on the National Mall in Washington as a national memorial.

With Buckles’ passing, there are only two documented surviving veterans of The Great War left – 109-year-old Claude Choules and 110-year-old Florence Green, both of whom are British.

“Somebody has to pass it down. If I’m the last one, then I have to be the one to do it,” Buckles told The News.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/02/28/2011-02-28_frank_buckles_oldest_surviving_american_wwi_vet_dies_at_age_110_.html#ixzz1FHGGwVXV


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  • Untitledma28839986-0002_max50

    Irishcop1961

    over 3 years ago

    50400 Comments

    Rest in Peace Sir. Thank you for your service.

  • Copy_of_marine_photo_edited_edited_max50

    MarineMPSpecReac

    over 3 years ago

    230 Comments

    Rest in peace, and thank you! We'll see you at the gates.

  • Grad_photo1_max50

    navyfirefighter2004

    over 3 years ago

    1264 Comments

    Rest in Peace!

  • Clone_trooper_max50

    lkdavis71

    over 3 years ago

    1066 Comments

    Rest in Peace Sir. A truly great American.

  • Draped_badge_max50

    184retired

    over 3 years ago

    3806 Comments

    Rest in Peace sir...A true hero

  • Dhs_max50

    WACollector

    over 3 years ago

    764 Comments

    Rest In Peace, Sir. You've earned it.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    fyrfytr

    over 3 years ago

    30 Comments

    Thank you and may you rest in peace.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Copper29

    over 3 years ago

    6 Comments

    Thank you for your service and may you rest in heavenly peace.

  • Wolf_001_max50

    Rogue1

    over 3 years ago

    466 Comments

    Thank you Sir and RIP.

  • Att179311_max50

    Elite1grey

    over 3 years ago

    1722 Comments

    Rest in Peace and Thank You

  • Policelinkbadge_max160_max50_max50

    Gombino

    over 3 years ago

    2658 Comments

    Rest in Peace, Sir. You made this life possible for the rest of us.

  • State_trooper_max600_max50

    troopa

    over 3 years ago

    490 Comments

    WOW JUST IMAGINE THE THINGS THAT GREAT MAN SAW IN HIS LIFE!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    BForJuvCor

    over 3 years ago

    846 Comments

    R.I.P Sir...Thank you for your dedication to preserving the freedoms we hold so dear.

  • French_chopper_seat_max50

    mitrocop

    over 3 years ago

    402 Comments

    Rest in Peace, true hero...your sacrifices and those of your brothers-at-arms will never be forgotten by those of us who appreciate what the previous generations accomplished in the name of freedom and democracy to ensure the survival of our nation, and thus the entire Free World.

  • June2010_013_max50

    RnG78

    over 3 years ago

    104 Comments

    wow, what a blessing to live until 110.

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