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 Force
I first visited the USAF museum in 1963 as a child when it was very small and before its grand opening.
In additional, I became involved in a Project Bluebook correspondence with Donald Keyhoe by an assignment given by my schoolteacher in the fifth grade. That assignment has led to a lifetime of gathering astounding information.
I learn more about UFOs and WWII technologies on every visit to the National USAF 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, but it brought war and the history of aviation to life.
A Veteran in Texas Over 100 Years Old
The US Department of Veterans Affairs lists a total of 1.02 million survivors among WWII veterans during 2015.
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 United States.
The oldest living veteran through 2018 was a resident of East Austin, Texas. He lived a long life and finally died on December 27, 2018 at age 112.
Richard A. Overton wore glasses, used a cane occasionally, but did not need any other type of mobility device. He enjoyed being photographed with his rifle and with a cigar in his mouth.
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
Sgt. Overton at Age 112
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.
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 plantation called Traveler'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 Round Heads.
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 of WW II
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.
- How many of Our WW2 Veterans Are Still Alive? Our Military.com; September 2019.
- Mr. Overton, the film.
- Richard Overton, America's Oldest World War II Veteran. CNN.com; December 27, 2018.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2015 Patty Inglish MS