Memorial Day For 100-Year-Old Veterans
Centenarians and World War II
The US Military planned and fought seventeen total campaigns in the Pacific Theater of World War Two. For many who might not know all of these ventures, they includes islands in Alaska, Burma, parts of China, Burma, New Guinea, and several other locations besides Japan.
Although the 70th, Platinum Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack was the last to gather and openly and formally celebrate its Veterans, several of these men and women are still living in 2015. Some of them are over 100 years old!
The volunteers at the National Museum of the Air Force in Dayton, Ohio at Wright Patterson AFB are nearly all older senior citizens. Most are veterans of the Korean War and Viet Nam, but a handful are in their late 80s and 90s, from World War II.. They still tell the stories of their wartime experiences and enjoy describing the related exhibits in the museum and the Presidential and Experimental annex. Memorial Day is a special time at the National Museum, especially in the year 2015, since May 8 was the 70th anniversary of the European Victory.
National Museum of the Air ForceClick thumbnail to view full-size
I first visited the USAF museum in 1963 as a child. In additional, I became involved in a Project Bluebook correspondence with Donald Keyhoe by an assignment given by my schoolteacher. That assignment has led to a lifetime of gathering astounding information.
I learn more about UFOs and WWII technologies on every visit to thie grand museum in my state, part of the Aviation Heritage Trail of the US. A quonset hut/hangar type fourth building is opening in later 2015. On my first visit, the museum was one small building.
If you have not yet seen the film "Unbroken", it is the jaw dropping true story of a US serviceman and former Olympics Gold Medalist, held captive in Japan. He was one of the fortunate who survived torture to see VJ Day and incoming American planes dropping canned foods to the newly freed, but starving prisoners.
The Story of Unbroken
- "Unbroken" - Angelina Jolie's POW Film
Who will play WWII hero and Olympian Louis Zamperini in the film of the book by the same name - Unbroken? At age 97, the hero was a consultant on the film until his death in July 2014.
A 109-Year-Old Veteran in Texas
The US Department of Veterans Affairs lists a total of 1.02 million living WWII veterans at this writing.
No listing furnishes all of these veteran's names, except for short lists of individuals who have reported in to various agencies and websites. The median age of WWII veterans was 92 in the year 2011. We should not forget these people who served the country and its people.
The oldest living veteran today is a resident of East Austin, Texas and is 109 years old. Richard A. Overton wears glasses, uses a can occasionally, but does not need any other type of mobility device. He likes to be photographed with his rifle and with a cigar in his mouth.
Sgt. Overton at 109
1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion
Sgt. Overton served in the South Pacific (as opposed to the North or Central regions) from 1942 through 1945 in the 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion (Colored) during segregated years. The Engineer Aviation Battalions were specialized battalions of the Army Corps of Engineers that were assigned to the US Army Air Corps before the founding of the USAF. These men built air fields in deserts, in jungles, and even on coral islands in the Pacific Theater.
During May 2013, Sgt. Overton flew for the first time to Washington, DC in order to see the nation's WWII Memorial. He was aided by Honor Flight, the group that arranges and US Veterans to war monuments free-of-charge.
This Memorial Day, think about visiting the memorials and monuments in your town. Take a senior citizen with you.
You got to keep moving. You don't sit down and watch TV all the time. You have to keep moving. -- Richard A. Overton— www.dailymail.co.uk; May 25, 2013
Overton and History
Sgt. Overton's great-grandfather was a judge on the Superior Court of Tennessee and served as an advisor to President Andrew Jackson. John Overton (1766 - 1833) lived in Nashville at his home and plantationcalled Traveller's Rest. It is a visitor's attraction now that I have seen several times.
John Overton's great-grandfather was Robert Overton (1609 - 1678), a major-general in the English Civil War on the side of the RoundHeads.
East Austin, Texas
The State of Texas is home to 88,540+ living veterans of all wars and conflicts that are ages 85 and older. Some served in all of WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam.
In Sgt. Overton's home county, Bastrop, living veterans include 8,000 individuals of all ages; out of a total of 75,000+ residents, or about 11% of the population.
The Pacific Theater: Hiroshima
The Pacific Theater of World War IIClick thumbnail to view full-size
Other Famous Veterans of the Pacific Theater
- Christmas in the Pacific Theater of WWII - JKF's PT 109
There are many stories of wartime Christmases around the world, but little has been written about Christmas 1942 in the Solomon Islands during WWII. This is a story with a happy ending on several levels.
- WWII: The USMC Black Sheep Squadron's Sioux Commander
Fact and fiction about Gregeory "Pappy" Boynton and his missions in the Solomon Islands.
© 2015 Patty Inglish MS