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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.

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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.


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Related Sites:
Photo Essay: World War I Exhibit Unveiled
Special Report: “The Great War”

Related Articles:
Last American WWI Veteran Dies
World War I Vet Welcomes Celebrity of His Generation
Pentagon Honors WWI Veteran, Unveils Exhibit

Click photo for screen-resolution imageArmy Cpl. Frank Buckles, shortly after he arrived in Winchester, England, on his way to France in 1917. U.S. Army photo  
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The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.

3/15/2011 12:57:42 PM
03/15/11 In Memory of Frank Buckles and all his comrades who served in WWI, the "Great War": Gettysburg, PA (1886) Chamberlain and other veterans of the 20th Maine Vol INF Regt dedicated their monument on Little Round Top Chamberlain spoke: "In great deeds, something abides. On great fields, something stays. Forms change and pass; bodies disappear, but spirits linger, to consecrate the ground for the vision-place of souls. And reverent men and women from afar, and generations that knows us not and that we know not of, heart-drawn to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them..."
- John Roark, Burke VA

3/12/2011 3:51:48 PM
This proves that the good don't always die young! The nation can only be proud to have a soldier like Cpl Buckles having served it, and surviving two wars.
- SSG Keith Mitchell (ret.), Connecticut

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