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A World War II veteran takes part in the Veterans Day Parade on November 11, 2019 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
How Many Ww2 Veterans Are Still Alive
May 8 marks the 75th anniversary of V-E Day, when World War II ended in Europe. In the United States, V-E Day commemorations will honor the 16 million Americans who served during the war, although only a fraction of those veterans are alive today.
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About 300,000 World War II veterans in the United States are still alive in 2020, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which has released projections of the number of veterans alive from 2015 to 2045. The number of WWII service members has declined from around . 939,000 in 2015. Most living war veterans are in their 90s, although some are much older.
Of the 350,000 women who served in the US Armed Forces during the war, approximately 14,500 are still alive today.
For the post on the number of American World War II veterans alive in 2020, we used veteran population projections calculated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The projection estimates the number of US veterans each year from September 30, 2015 to September 30, 2045.
VA projections show that between September 30, 2019 and September 30, 2020, 245 World War II veterans are expected to die each day. This projection was calculated before the outbreak of COVID-19 and does not take into account any deaths related to the disease. The last surviving American war veteran is expected to die in 2044.
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Living WWII veterans are spread across the country, with the most populous states having the largest numbers. California and Florida are home to over 30,000 war veterans each. Each of these states was home to 10% of the country’s total population before World War II.
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Richard Overton is the oldest living American war veteran. He died on Thursday. Darren Abate/AP hide caption
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The United States has lost its oldest World War II veteran. Richard Overton, who fought overseas in a separate unit, died Thursday at the age of 112.
He was recently hospitalized after a bout of pneumonia and took his last antibiotic on Dec. 21 — “a true soldier in the fight against this infection and everything,” his cousin, Volma Overton, said on Facebook.
Richard Overton was born in 1906, near Austin, Texas. He enlisted in the Army in 1940, before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He joined the 1887 Aviation Engineer Battalion, a unit made up of black soldiers, and served at Pearl Harbor, Okinawa and Iwo Jima.
“It’s hard,” he told Morning Edition in 2015. “I’ve never done it before. Uncle Sam called me. And I went there, and I had to do it.”
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In an interview with the Austin American-Statesman, he described clearing bodies from battlefields and landing under fire more times than he can remember. “We went into a hole, and a bullet hit our head,” he said.
Overton said he was glad to be home safely. “I’m glad I didn’t get like some of the others,” he said. “Some have lost their hands. Some have lost their legs. Some have lost their bodies. Some have lost their souls.”
After the war ended, he lived in a house he built in Austin. From his porch, he was known to chat with the neighbors. A sign on his door said, “Friends since 1906,” the Statesman reported.
In 2013, President Barack Obama invited him to Washington, D.C., for Veterans Day; he received a standing ovation in the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery.
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“Everybody, I want you to know a little bit about Mr. Overton here,” Obama said. “He was there at Pearl Harbor when the battleships were still burning. He was there at Okinawa. He was there at Iwo Jima, where he said, ‘I only got out of there by the grace of God.’ “
The president pointed out that Overton returned to a United States tainted by racial inequality and that “his service on the battlefield was not always matched by the respect he deserved at home.”
Black veterans are often denied jobs or housing. Obama said Overton carried on with dignity, working at a furniture store and at the state capitol as a courier. “And every Sunday, he gets in his 1971 Ford truck and drives one of the beautiful women in his neighborhood to church,” Obama said.
In 2014, Overton was honored by the U.S. Coast Guard. Mid-Atlantic. “He fought and risked his life to serve his country despite the fact that he was not treated as an equal at home,” said Captain James O’Keefe.
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Overton faced different challenges as he got older. Her family needs help paying for her home health care and is raising money through a GoFundMe page.
Last summer, family members said, Overton’s money and identity were stolen after someone gained access to his Social Security number and bank account. His bank recovered the stolen money, according to the Dallas Morning News.
On what would have been Overton’s 111th birthday, part of his street was renamed for him, KUT reported. He was also honored during a basketball game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies.
He gave his life aspirin, stress-free life and work in the yard. He is also famous for eating ice cream, drinking whiskey and smoking cigars.
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U.S. Army offered prayers for the Overton family, saying on Twitter, “Today we mourn not just a hero, but a legend.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott called him an icon who “made us proud to be Texans and proud to be Americans.” In cursing it
75 years after the end of World War II in Europe, about 325,000 of the 16 million Americans who served during the conflict are still alive on Memorial Day 2020. But their ranks will continue to decline gradually, and the majority. of those living in 2020 are in their 90s while some are much older. As of 2015, 939,000 US World War II veterans are still alive and the number of lost stories and memories grows every day. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) calculated that 245 World War II veterans were expected to die each day between September 30, 2019 and September 30, 2020.
This raises a sad and sad question: when will America lose its last World War II veteran? The VA uses a deterministic actuarial projection model to predict how many veterans will live to 2045 and this infographic is based on the results. It shows that the ranks will drop even further to just under 60,000 within five years and that the last US World War II veteran is expected to die in 2043. Unfortunately, that number may be affected by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the New York Times, COVID-19 has spread to more than 40 veterans’ homes in more than 20 states, resulting in the deaths of at least 300 people.
Richard Arvin Overton
America lost its last World War I veteran less than a decade ago. Born in 1901, Frank Buckles joined the army in 1917 where he continued to drive ambulances and motorbikes during conflicts in Europe before he died in February 2011 aged 110. Also 110 years old, current Louisiana resident Lawrence Brooks . The oldest veteran of World War II. He served with the African-American 91st Engineer Battalion in the Pacific Theater from 1941 to 1945.
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