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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs

 

Frank Buckles, Last Known U.S. Doughboy, Dies

Feb. 28, 2011, 08:00:00 AM

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Frank Buckles, Last Known U.S. Doughboy, Dies

Advocated for National World War I Memorial in D.C.

WASHINGTON – Frank Woodruff Buckles, who lied about his age to enlist in the Army in 1917 and became the last known U.S. veteran of World War I, died on February 27, 2011 at the age of 110.

“We have lost a living link to an important era in our nation’s history,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “But we have also lost a man of quiet dignity, who dedicated his final years to ensuring the sacrifices of his fellow ‘Doughboys’ are appropriately commemorated.”

Burial with full military honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery.  Details about the funeral are expected to be released soon.

A long-time resident of Charles Town, West Virginia, where he had a farm, Buckles was born in Bethany, Missouri.  He enlisted shortly after his 16th birthday and served in France and Germany.

At the start of World War II, he was a civilian working with a steamship company in the Philippines.  He was imprisoned in a Japanese prisoner of war camp for three and a half years.

In his later years, Buckles became an advocate for the expansion of a little-known memorial to World War I Veterans from the District of Columbia into a national memorial.

More than 4,700,000 Americans served in the military during World War I.  About 53,000 died of combat-related causes, while another 63,000 deaths were listed as non-combat.

 

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