Last US WWI veteran passes away in sleep


On February 27, Frank Buckles passed away peacefully in the night at the age of 110. Buckles was the last American World War I veteran, and one of the three last World War I veterans in the world.

Buckles was born in Bethany, Missouri at the turn of the century in 1901. Buckles was only sixteen years old when he enlisted for the United States Army, though “[I] gave my solemn word I was 18, but I’d left my birth certificate back home in the family Bible,” Buckles told CNN.

Prior to his acceptance in the Army, Buckles was turned away by the Marines for being under 21 and the Navy for being flat-footed.

Buckles served in both France and England during the war driving motorcycles and ambulances.

Following the Armistice, Buckles escorted prisoners of war back to Germany.

Buckles was working for the White Star shipping company, which took him to Manila in the Philippines when World War II broke out in 1942..

He was captured by the Japanese as a civilian and forced to live the next three and a half years in a prison camp during his stay in the Philippines.

Buckles remained strong, leading fellow inmates in calisthenics despite becoming malnourished and weighing under 100 pounds.

Buckles was rescued on February 23, 1945.

During his life, Buckles was the recipient of the World War I Victory Medal, French Legion of Honor and the Army Occupation of Germany Disorder.

Following his death, President Barack Obama ordered that the flags at all government buildings be flown at half mast to commemorate Buckles’ life.

Claude Choules and Florence Green of the United Kingdom are the last two surviving veterans of World War I.

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