The oldest World War II American veteran died aged 112


Richard Overton would have been 113 on May 11, 2019. He volunteered for the Army starting in 1942 and served with the 188th Aviation Engineer Battalion, a period that included stops in Angaur, Palau; Peleliu, Micronesia; and Iwo Jima, Japan. He was at Pearl Harbor just after the Japanese surprise attack in 1941. After serving three years in the army, he went on to work in furniture and at the state treasurer’s office. Recently, the veteran had been hospitalized with pneumonia. Overton credited God, whiskey and cigars for his remarkable longevity.


His favorite pastime was smoking his 12 daily cigars on his front porch, which friends dubbed his “stage.” street was named in his honor for his 111th birthday last year. The veteran offered this wry advice for living a long life: “Keep living, don’t die.” Former President Barack Obama honored Overton in front of thousands in the nation’s capital in 2013. He is remembered by many for his optimism and ability to live for the simple things in life. Richard has a 12 minutes documentary about him,”Mr. Overton”, directed by Matt Cooper, which was released in 2015 through the National Geographic.


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