Frank Buckles lied to more than one military recruiter that he was 18 years old. After finally claiming to be 21 when in fact he was only 16 he entered into the United States Army. He would later become the last surviving American veteran of World War I.
In 1941, he was working for a shipping company in Manila, Philippines. He was captured by the Japanese, and spent the next three and half years in the Los Baños prison camp. Despite being malnourished and developing beriberi (inability for the body to breakdown energy molecules), he led his fellow prisoners in calisthenics. The allies took the camp in late February 1945.
Although, Buckles never saw any combat received any official medals to qualify to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery, officials made an exception. Funeral services and arrangements will be announced later in the week.
While Buckles never saw combat, he often would joke on the subject, “Didn’t I make every effort?”
During Buckles time in the U.S. Army he served in England and France, working mostly as a driver and warehouse clerk. Being a fascinated student of culture and language, during his off-duty hours he learned German visited cathedrals, museums and tombs.
The only two remaining veterans of World War I served in the British armed forces, and live there currently. There are no remaining veterans from Canada, France or Germany.
Frank Buckles, was 110 when he passed of natural causes in his hometown of Charles Town, West Virginia.
On behalf of the United States of America, and Gun and Game, Mr. Frank Buckles serial number 15577, we salute you, as a hero, and thank you for your service.