Nation’s oldest veteran turns 112

Someone will probably ask Richard Overton the secret to longevity today and he’ll respond with his usual answer: “Not dying.”

Overton turns 112 today. He’s America’s oldest living World War II veteran.

“I love to have a birthday,” Overton tells the Austin American-Statesman. “That’s another day. I hope I live another five years.”

He served in the Pacific Theater from 1942 to 1945 as part of the all-black 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion.

Overton has been called America’s oldest World War II veteran since before he actually was. But when Frank Levingston, then 110, died in May 2016, it became official.

  • MrE85

    Don’t look at me for a crack about the cigar. This guy’s earned it.

    • You know us too well.

      • MrE85

        Likewise.

    • Gary F

      It looks like a rolled leaf wrapper. He’s smoking the good ones. If you smoke the ones rolled in grocery bag paper, you wont live till 111.

      It would be nice to share a smoke with him and share the afternoon.

  • Guest

    What with Kamikaze attacks there was NO safe place in the Pacific in WWII. The atom bomb saved his life and my Dad’s.

    We thought the Japanese were hurting for fuel and planes. They had let their cities be bombed without fighters trying to stop our bombers and were holding vast reserves of everything for the coming invasion of Japan.

    Housewives in Hiroshima had been issued bamboo spears and told “let the US soldiers walk on by, then attack the last guy in the back with the spear before you are killed.”

    We had no idea who we were fighting.

    • MrE85

      “Strange thing is they make such bloody good cameras.”
      –Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake, RAF.

      • Guest

        Their Naval binoculars were better than ours, and more plentiful. One sub captain looked thru the periscope and saw the railing full of sailors with binoculars with most sailors pointing at his periscope. YIKES.

  • Kellpa07

    Well, it’s not dying, plus cigars and bourbon. Can’t forget the cigars ands bourbon. A Texas legend.

  • Gary F

    Sitting on the porch with him smoking a cigar. Just think of the stories he could tell. 111 years old, that’s a lot of milage and paths taken.