Last U.S. veteran of World War One dies at 110

Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:46am EST
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Frank Buckles, believed to be the last surviving U.S. veteran of World War One, has died at age 110, according to media reports Monday.

The Washington Post, quoting his daughter, said Buckles died Sunday at his farm in West Virginia.

Buckles, who celebrated his 110th birthday on February 1, lied about his age to join the army at age 16. The Missouri native was among nearly 5 million Americans who served in World War One in 1917 and 1918.

"I knew there'd be only one (survivor) someday. I didn't think it would be me," he was quoted as saying in recent years.

Buckles drove an ambulance during the war. In 1941, while working as a civilian in Manila, he was captured by the invading Japanese and held prisoner for 38 months during World War Two.

The Post said that with Buckles' death, only a 109-year-old Australian man and a 110-year-old British woman were believed to survive from the estimated 65 million people who served in the 1914-1918 war.

(Writing by Peter Cooney; editing by Tim Pearce)

<p>World War I veteran Frank Buckles during a ceremony in the Oval Office, March 6, 2008. REUTERS/Jason Reed</p>