"It is easier to build a strong child than to repair a broken man." - Frederick Douglass

Richard Overton: Oldest US WWII Veteran Passes Away at 112


Richard Overton who was 112 years of age, passed away Thursday evening, Dec. 27, 2018. He was the nation’s oldest living man and World War II veteran at the time of his death. He would have been 113 years old in May 2019.

A relative, Shirley Overton, confirmed his death. She said he died in a rehab facility in Austin, Texas. He was also recently hospitalized due to pneumonia.

His time in the U.S. Army began when he volunteered in his 30s. Overton was apart of and served with the 188th Aviation Engineer Battalion, an all-black unit. They “built airfields out of jungles, constructed roads over mountains and completed aircraft hangars on Pacific islands,” according to the United States Air Force website.

He was also honored by former President Barack Obama at a Veterans Day ceremony:

He was there at Pearl Harbor when the battleships were still smoldering. He was there at Okinawa. He was there at Iwo Jima, where he said. ‘I only got out of there by the grace of God.’

The scheduled date for Overton’s funeral is Jan. 12, 2019, according to an announcement made by the Administrator of Military Veteran’s Program, Allen Bergeron. His service will be held at Shoreline Church. The public is welcome and the memorial will begin at about 11:00 a.m. CT. Overton’s final resting place will be at the Texas State Cemetary.

Overton’s last dying wish was for his long-time home to be turned into a museum.

Written by Parris Winfrey
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware

CNN: Richard Overton, America’s oldest living World War II veteran and the oldest man in the US, dies at 112
KXAN: Family, friends remember Richard Overton, Discuss Funeral Plans
ABC 7: Nation’s oldest WWII veteran dies in Texas at 112
USAF: A look back at black aviation engineer units of World War II

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Army Recruiter’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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