Arlington Burial Planned for Last ‘Doughboy’ Frank Buckles
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, March 11, 2011 America will pay its respects to its last World War I veteran March 15, as former Army Cpl. Frank Buckles is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, left, talks with Frank Buckles, then age 107, the last known U.S. World War I veteran, during a Pentagon ceremony March 6, 2008. Buckles was honored during the ceremony, which included the unveiling an exhibit of veterans' portraits by photographer David DeJonge. DOD photo by R.D. Ward
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Buckles -- the last of the more than 5 million Americans who served during World War I and were known as “doughboys” -- died Feb. 22 at his home in West Virginia. He was 110.
He will lie in honor at Arlington’s Memorial Amphitheater Chapel from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 15 for the public to pay its last respects. The interment will be at 4 p.m., and the corporal will be buried near the site where General of the Armies John “Black Jack” Pershing, the commander of the American Expeditionary Force, is buried.
The Pentagon Channel will carry the service.
Buckles was born in Missouri in 1901. He enlisted in the Army in 1917, shortly after the United States declared war on Germany and its allies. He served as an ambulance driver on the Western Front.
In 1941, Buckles was in the Philippines, working in Manila, when Japan invaded the island nation. The Japanese captured him and confined him at the Los Banos prison with 2,200 other American civilians. U.S. forces liberated the camp in 1945.
President Barack Obama has ordered that U.S. flags be flown at half staff in Buckles’ honor March 15.
Two men in Great Britain are believed to be World War I’s last living veterans. Both are 110 years old.