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Frank Buckles – oldest World War I veteran dead at 110.

The last ever surviving U.S. veteran of World War I has died  aged 110.

Frank Buckles, who lied about his age to get into uniform during the war, also survived being a civilian POW in the Philippines in World War II.

He died peacefully of natural causes on Sunday at his home in Charles Town having just hit the 110 milestone at the beginning of the month.

At the time he had been advocating for a national memorial honouring veterans of the Great War in Washington, D.C.

Veteran: Frank Buckles survived World War I - he was only 16 when he joined - and the Japanese prison camps in the Philippines during World War II
This August 1917 file photo provided by the Buckles Family shows Frank Buckles' enlistment photo into the U.S. Army.

Veteran: Frank Buckles survived World War I – he was only 16 when he joined, pictured, – and the Japanese prison camps in the Philippines during World War II

When asked what it felt like to be the last of his kind he said: ‘I realized that somebody had to be, and it was me. Without a doubt I would do it all over again.’

Born in Missouri in 1901 and raised in Oklahoma, Buckles visited a string of military recruiters after the United States entered the ‘war to end all wars’ in April 1917.

He was repeatedly rejected before convincing an Army captain he was 18. He was only 16 and a half at the time.

He said: ‘A boy of (that age), he’s not afraid of anything. He wants to get in there.’

More than 4.7 million people joined the U.S. military from 1917-18.

As of spring 2007, only three were still alive, according to a tally by the Department of Veterans Affairs: Buckles, J. Russell Coffey of Ohio and Harry Richard Landis of Florida.

1 Comment
  1. The last of the true hero’s has joined his friends in heaven. I wish I could have known this man so I could personally thank him for his heroic duties during the worst battles this world has ever experienced. A man of honor and dignity. Teach your children had it not been for men such as these we would not have the freedoms we enjoy in America, maybe not even a country .R Hobgood

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