Tags: Veterans | Frank Buckles | veteran | WWI

Who Was Frank Buckles, Last World War I Vet?

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Jul 2015 11:01 PM

Frank Woodruff Buckles was the last known American veteran of the First World War. The 110-year-old WWI vet died in the February of 2011 in his home in West Virginia.

Buckles was born on a farm in Missouri in February 1901. At the age of 16, Buckles enlisted in the Army in 1917, by lying about his age, according to the New York Times.

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Buckles was inspired to join the military by Marine recruiting posters. He was turned down by a Marine recruiter, who told him he was too young and not heavy enough, and by the Navy, which told him he was flat-footed. The Army accepted him, and he enlisted on Aug. 14, 1917, according to a personal account posted on a website for a 2013 documentary about his life, “Pershing’s Last Patriot.”

In Europe. Buckles volunteered and served as an ambulance driver after an Army sergeant said that was the quickest way to get to France.

After serving in WWI, Buckles would find himself again caught in a world conflict. While serving as a ship officer on a merchant vessel, Buckles was captured by the Japanese during World War II in the Philippines. Buckles was held for three years until the United States finally freed him, according to CNN.

In the 1950s, Buckles came back to America, started a family, and bought a farm.

In a few years before his death, Buckles was seen speaking in front of a Senate committee and urging support to refurbish the existing WWI memorial in Washington D.C.

When he died in 2011, he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

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“Just as Frank continued to serve America until his passing, as the honorary chairman of the World War I Memorial Foundation, our nation has a sacred obligation to always serve our veterans and their families as well as they've served us,” said President Obama after Buckles’ death, according to USA Today.

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Frank Woodruff Buckles was the last known American veteran of the First World War. The 110-year-old WWI vet died in the February of 2011 in his home in West Virginia.
Frank Buckles, veteran, WWI
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2015-01-21
Tuesday, 21 Jul 2015 11:01 PM
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