America’s oldest veteran, Richard Overton, who served in the Army during World War II and credited God, whiskey and cigars for his remarkable longevity, died Thursday in Texas at the age of 112, reports say.
He had been hospitalized for the last week with pneumonia, his family said.
Shirley Overton, whose husband was Richard’s cousin, said the vet died Thursday evening at a rehab facility in Austin.
Overton, who was also thought to be the oldest living American, was born in 1906 in Bastrop County, just outside Austin, Texas.
Overton was in his 30s when he volunteered for the Army, and was at Pearl Harbor just after the Japanese surprise attack in 1941.
The WWII veteran served in the all-black 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion from 1942 to 1945, a period that included stops in Angaur, Palau; Peleliu, Micronesia; and Iwo Jima, Japan. – READ MORE