Richard Overton, America’s oldest World War II veteran, has been hospitalized with pneumonia in both lungs at age 111. His family has told local news sources that he is being treated at St. David’s Hospital in his hometown of Austin, Texas.
Overton was drafted into the Army in 1942, where he served with the famous 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion in the Pacific Theater, including Hawaii, Guam, Palau, and Iwo Jima. He was decorated for his service, and has since been honored on multiple occasions by presidents and dignitaries for his service. After the war, he settled in Austin, Texas, where he built the home he still lives in today.
According to the local ABC affiliate, Overton was taken to the hospital around 3 a.m. on Thursday. His family is asking the public for prayers.
His cousin, Volma Overton Jr., told the news, “We just went through this. He had just finished taking medicine for the pneumonia in his left lung.”
Overton turned 111 years old in May of this year, making him the oldest living World War II veteran in America. He is famous in both his hometown of Austin and around the nation for his warm, easy manner and friendly disposition. He spends most of his time on his front porch, talking with relatives and neighbors while watching the town pass by.
His longevity, according to Overton, is due to nothing in particular. His diet consists mostly of soup and milk, with coffee every morning and ice cream every night. He also drinks whiskey and smokes cigars every day.
Below is a video of Richard Overton talking about his service and his life. We’ll share an update on his condition when one is available.
The Veterans Site wishes Richard Overton a speedy recovery, and asks that everybody keep him in their thoughts and prayers.
Jacob H. is an award-winning journalist and photojournalist who currently resides is West Michigan with his wife. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys writing, photography, mountain climbing, and camping.