Richard Arvin Overton

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Richard Arvin Overton
Richard Overton 2017.jpg
Overton on Veterans Day 2017
Born(1906-05-11)May 11, 1906
Bastrop County, Texas, U.S.
Died(2018-12-27)December 27, 2018
(aged 112 years, 230 days)
Austin, Texas, U.S.
Allegiance United States
Service/branchSeal of the United States Department of War.png United States Army
Years of service1940–1945
RankUS Army WWII T5C.svg Technician fifth grade[1]
Unit1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion (Colored)
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsCombat Infantry Badge.svg Combat Infantryman Badge
Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon.svg Meritorious Unit Commendation
Army Good Conduct Medal ribbon.svg U.S. Army Good Conduct Medal
American Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal ribbon.svg Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg World War II Victory Medal
US Army Expert Qualification Marksmanship Badge.png Expert Rifle Marksmanship Badge

Richard Arvin Overton (May 11, 1906 – December 27, 2018) was an American supercentenarian who at the age of 112 years, 230 days was the oldest verified surviving U.S. World War II veteran and oldest man in the United States. He served in the United States Army. In 2013, he was honored by President Barack Obama.[2][3][4][5] He resided in Austin, Texas, until his death.

Early life and education[edit]

Overton was born in Bastrop County, Texas,[6] to Gentry Overton, Sr. and Elizabeth Franklin Overton Waters.[7]

Military and civilian career[edit]

Overton enlisted into the U.S. military on September 3, 1940 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.[8]

He served in the South Pacific from 1940 through 1945, including stops in Hawaii, Guam, Palau and Iwo Jima. He left the U.S. Army in October 1945 as a technician fifth grade.[9]

Overton worked at local furniture stores before taking a position with the Texas Department of the Treasury (now part of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts) in Austin. He was married twice but did not have any children.[10]

Later years[edit]

Overton gained media attention during the 2013 Memorial Day weekend when he told Fox News he would spend his Memorial Day "smoking cigars and drinking whiskey-stiffened coffee."[11] On that same Memorial Day, Overton met with Texas Governor Rick Perry. Overton was also invited to the White House where he met with President Barack Obama, and to the Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, where he was singled out by name for praise by the President.[5][12][13]

During an NBA game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies on March 24, 2017, Overton was honored during a half-time break.[14]

Overton is the subject of a 2016 documentary, Mr. Overton, in which he is interviewed about his daily routine, thoughts on his longevity, and his military service.[15][16] On May 3, 2016, he became the oldest surviving American veteran after the death of Frank Levingston.[17][18][19]

On May 11, 2016, Overton became a supercentenarian.[6] Overton was hospitalized for pneumonia in December 2018. He was placed in a rehabilitation center, where he died on December 27, 2018, aged 112 years 230 days.[20]

Military awards[edit]

Combat Infantry Badge.svg
Badge Combat Infantryman Badge
1st Row Army Good Conduct Medal American Defense Service Medal
2nd Row American Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal World War II Victory Medal
Richard Overton with Steve Adler
Richard Overton with Austin Mayor Steve Adler before the Veteran's Day Parade.
Badge Expert Rifle Marksmanship Badge
Unit award Army Meritorious Unit Commendation

Personal life[edit]

Overton lived in Austin, Texas. On December 11, 2014, Austin Community College recognized Overton with an honorary associate degree, the college’s highest distinction.[21]

He was a Protestant and attended church regularly.[22]

On July 1, 2018, it was reported that Overton became a victim of identity theft. A suspect of an unknown origin opened a fake banking account with Overton's social security number, accessed his personal checking account, and used the money to gather savings bonds. Overton also had a Go Fund Me account which raised over $420,000 for his in-home care.[23] On July 5, 2018, Overton's family announced that Bank of America had restored the funds to his account.[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "109-Year-Old Veteran and His Secrets to Life Will Make You Smile - Short Film Showcase". YouTube. April 25, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  2. ^ Royce-Bartlett, Lindy (November 11, 2013). "Oldest World War II vet Richard Overton, 107, honored by President Obama". CNN. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  3. ^ Thuman, Scott (November 11, 2013). "Richard Overton honored by President Obama on Veterans Day". WJLA-TV. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  4. ^ Toppo, Greg (November 10, 2013). "Oldest living WWII vet to meet with Obama". USA Today. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Oldest known WWII veteran honored at Arlington ceremony". Fox News. November 11, 2013. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Nation's oldest living WWII Combat Veteran Richard Overton turning 110". Fox 7 Austin. May 11, 2016. Retrieved May 11, 2016.
  7. ^ Biography.com Editors (November 8, 2017). "Richard Overton Biography". Biography. Retrieved December 29, 2018.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  8. ^ National Archives and Records Administration. U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, U.S.: Ancestry.com Operations Inc:::2005. Original data: Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946 [Archival Database]; ARC: 1263923. World War II Army Enlistment Records; Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 64; National Archives at College Park. College Park, Maryland, U.S. transcription of record here; accessed September 1, 2015.(subscription required)
  9. ^ Arvine, Richard Overton (2013). "Richard Arvine Overton Collection". memory.loc.gov. Veterans History Project. Retrieved August 1, 2017.
  10. ^ Meyer, Brendan (May 11, 2018). "America's oldest living WWII veteran turns 112, fueled by cigars, Dr Pepper and coffee". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  11. ^ Miller, Joshua Rhett (May 26, 2013). "America's oldest veteran to spend quiet Memorial Day at Texas home". Fox News. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  12. ^ Jackson, David (November 11, 2013). "Obama: 'We will never forget' veterans". USA Today. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  13. ^ President Barack Obama greets Richard Overton, White House, November 11, 2013
  14. ^ Carbaugh, Dane (March 24, 2017). "Spurs honor Richard Overton, the oldest living U.S. veteran at Military Appreciation Night". ProBasketballTalk. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
  15. ^ "Mr. Overton – GI Film Festival | Reel Stories! Real Heroes!". gifilmfestival.com. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  16. ^ "LA Shorts Fest". lashortsfest.com. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  17. ^ Villalpando, Roberto (May 5, 2016). "The man who was America's oldest World War II veteran has died". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Cox Media Group. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  18. ^ Johnson, Dionne (May 4, 2016). "Frank Levingston, Nation's Oldest WWII Veteran, Dies at 110". KLFY. Nexstar Broadcasting. Retrieved February 11, 2018. Richard Arvine Overton is now the oldest surviving American World War II veteran.
  19. ^ Chuck, Elizabeth (May 2016). "America's Oldest Veteran Richard Overton Celebrates 110th Birthday". NBC News. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  20. ^ Claiborne, Casey (December 27, 2018). "Nation's oldest living veteran Richard Overton dies in Austin at age 112". KTBC. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  21. ^ "ACC awards honorary degree to oldest WWII veteran, Richard Overton, at fall commencement". ACC Newsroom. Austin Community College. December 9, 2014. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  22. ^ "Oldest Living World War II Veteran Richard Overton to Turn 109". ABC News. May 6, 2015. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  23. ^ "Thieves drain bank account of oldest living U.S. veteran, family says". CBS News. July 1, 2018. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  24. ^ "Bank Restores Funds Stolen from Oldest Living Veteran's Account". Military.com. July 5, 2018. Retrieved July 13, 2018.

External links[edit]