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

WASHINGTON (February 28, 2011) - 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.

Presidential Proclamation--Death of Army Corporal Frank W. Buckles, the Last Surviving American Veteran of World War I

Death of Army Corporal Frank W. Buckles, the Last Surviving american Veteran of World War I

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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

     As a mark of respect for the memory of Army Corporal Frank W. Buckles, the last surviving American veteran of World War I, and in remembrance of the generation of American veterans of World War I, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that, on the day of his interment, the flag of the United States shall be flown at half‑staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on such day.  I further direct that the flag shall be flown at half‑staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty‑eighth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

BARACK OBAMA

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The World War I Memorial Foundation - www.wwimemorial.org