America's Oldest WWII Vet Dies at 110

Frank Levingston fought fascists in Italy
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 6, 2016 12:46 AM CDT
America's Oldest WWII Vet Dies at 110
In this Dec. 7, 2015, photo, Frank Levingston Jr., of Lake Charles, La., is greeted by visitors following a wreath-laying ceremony to mark the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.   (Andrew Harnik)

A Louisiana man who was fighting Nazis when he was nearly 40 has died at the age of 110. Frank Levingston of Lake Charles was believed to have been America's oldest living WWII veteran, ABC News reports. He enlisted in the army on Oct. 6, 1942, less than a year after the US entered the war, and served as a private during the September 1943 Allied invasion of Italy. He also did a tour in North Africa and spent most of his post-military life in the cement finishing business after an honorable discharge in 1945, the AP reports. "I can remember the day I was inducted in the Army until the day I was discharged," he told KPLC in November last year. "I've been through so many dangerous things and I'm still here. I'm thankful to the almighty God for it. That's all I can say." He never married or had children, but a nephew says he took pride in looking after his six siblings' children.

In December last year, Levingston was part of a group of veterans who traveled to Washington, DC, for a ceremony marking the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. Ahead of the trip, Levingston was honored at a ceremony. District Attorney John DeRosier, speaking at the ceremony, said when he looked at Levingston, he didn't see a 110-year-old man. "I see a young black soldier in green utilities with worn combat boots, scampering across the sand on those beaches," he said. The New York Daily News reports that Levingston—who was America's oldest man as well as its oldest veteran—was among almost 700,000 living US WWII veterans, though the VA estimates that they are dying at the rate of 430 a day. (This 93-year-old WWII vet finally got his POW medal this year.)

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