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Last US WWI Veteran Frank Buckles Dies at 110

In Life by , on Monday, February 28, 2011, 11:50 AM (PST)
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A chapter in American history has closed.

Frank Buckles, the final surviving American veteran of World War I, has died. He was 110 years old.

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Buckles passed away from natural causes at his home near Charles Town, West Virginia, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Born on a farm near Bethany, Missouri, on February 1, 1901, Buckles lied about his age when he joined the Army. He was just 16 years old when he entered World War I as a member of the ambulance corps, and one of nearly five million other Americans to fight in the war.

Upon returning home, Buckles joined a shipping company and traveled the world. In 1941 he was captured by the Japanese while working in the Philippines, spending more than three years in a prisoner of war camp.

Back in the States, Buckles moved to a 330-acre cattle farm in West Virginia with his new wife, Audrey Mayo. The pair remained together until Audrey's death in 1999.

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President Obama released the following statement upon hearing of Buckles' passing:

"Frank Buckles lived the American Century. Like so many veterans, he returned home, continued his education, began a career, and along with his late wife Audrey, raised their daughter Susannah. And just as Frank continued to serve America until his passing, as the Honorary Chairman of the World War I Memorial Foundation, our nation has a sacred obligation to always serve our veterans and their families as well as they’ve served us. We join Susannah and all those who knew and loved her father in celebrating a remarkable life that reminds us of the true meaning of patriotism and our obligations to each other as Americans."

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