America’s oldest Second World War veteran dies at 112: Hero soldier who fought the Japanese and credited his long life to whiskey and cigars passes away after battle with pneumonia

Friday, December 28, 2018
By Paul Martin

Richard Overton, the nation’s oldest World War II veteran died Thursday in Texas
Aged 112, he was also believed to be the oldest living man in the US
The Army veteran had been hospitalized with pneumonia but was released on Christmas Eve
He said that one secret to his long life was smoking cigars and drinking whiskey
Overton was born in 1906 near Austin and served in the all-black 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion
In 2013, former President Barack Obama honored Overton at a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery

DAILYMAIL.COM
28 December 2018

Richard Overton, the nation’s oldest World War II veteran who was also believed to be the oldest living man in the US, died Thursday in Texas aged 112.

The Army veteran had been hospitalized with pneumonia but was released on Christmas Eve, a family member said.

‘They had done all they could,’ Shirley Overton, whose husband was Richard’s cousin and his longtime caretaker. said.

He died in the evening at a rehab facility in Austin.

He once said that one secret to his long life was smoking cigars and drinking whiskey, which he often was found doing on the porch of his Austin home.

His recent birthdays drew national attention and strangers would stop by his house to meet him.

Even well into his 100s, he would drive widows in his neighborhood to church.

‘With his quick wit and kind spirit he touched the lives of so many, and I am deeply honored to have known him,’ Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement Thursday.

Overton was in his 30s when he volunteered for the Army and was at Pearl Harbor just after the Japanese attack in 1941.

Abbott called Overton ‘an American icon and Texas legend’.

‘Richard Overton made us proud to be Texans and proud to be Americans,’ the governor added.

‘We can never repay Richard Overton for his service to our nation and for his lasting impact on the Lone Star State.’

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