LOSS OF A LEGEND

Richard Overton, America's Oldest World War II Veteran, Dies at 112

The oldest man in the United States and America’s oldest World War II veteran died Thursday at the age of 112. U.S. Army veteran Richard Overton, who served with the all-black 188th Aviation Engineer Battalion, had been hospitalized in Austin with pneumonia, his family said. His death prompted an outpouring of tributes. “With his quick wit and kind spirit, he touched the lives of so many, and I am deeply honored to have known him,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. “Richard Overton made us proud to be Texans and proud to be Americans. We can never repay Richard Overton for his service to our nation and for his lasting impact on the Lone Star State.” Overton—who lived on Richard Overton Avenue, a street renamed in his honor—was lauded as a national hero for his military service. “He was there at Pearl Harbor when the battleships were still smoldering,” former President Barack Obama said during a Veterans Day ceremony in 2013 honoring Overton at Arlington National Cemetery. “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 late veteran was five months shy of his 113th birthday.