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   Undertoad  Monday Feb 28 01:52 PM

Feb 28,2011 [b]: Last US WW1 vet dies



Bullitt suggests this one and, although there haven't been enough IotDs recently, I figured we should make this the "B" image for Feb 28. The passage of time has already gone too long.

The CNN story gives us the details. Frank Buckles died of natural causes. He was 110 years old, born on February 1, 1901.

Buckles is the last WW1 tough guy, and how tough he must have been.

Quote:
Buckles, who served as a U.S. Army ambulance driver in Europe during what became known as the "Great War," rose to the rank of corporal before the war ended... after World War I ended, [he] took up a career as a ship's officer on merchant vessels. He was captured by the Japanese in the Philippines during World War II and held prisoner of war for more than three years before he was freed by U.S. troops.
Quote:
Buckles' family asks that donations be made to the National World War I Legacy Project to honor Frank Buckles and the 4,734,991 Americans that he served with during World War I. Details can be found at: www.frankbuckles.org
4,734,991 is a remarkable number. I had no idea it was that many. At the time there were only about 100,000,000 people in the entire country, so about 1 in 20 served in an overseas war, at a time when it wasn't so easy to travel overseas. And so many died. Many nations suffered worse losses, but 1918 marks the only year in US history since 1900 when the population of the US actually dropped.

Which makes Buckles' final rest even that much more remarkable. Here is a gentleman who was born only two generations after the US Civil War. We salute you Sir, Rest in Peace.


glatt  Monday Feb 28 02:01 PM

Amazing. The end of an era.

I remember as a kid, watching parades and seeing vets marching and you'd have a bunch of people for WWII, and just a handful of old men slowly marching along for the WWI group. Now they are all gone. It's sad.



Sheldonrs  Monday Feb 28 02:34 PM

From The Pogues "Waltzing Matilda":

"And now every April I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me
And I watch my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reliving old dreams of past glory
And the old men march slowly, all bent, stiff and sore
The forgotten heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask, "What are they marching for?"
And I ask myself the same question
And the band plays Waltzing Matilda
And the old men answer to the call
But year after year their numbers get fewer
Some day no one will march there at all"



Rhianne  Monday Feb 28 03:09 PM

The Pogues did a decent cover of Eric Bogle's "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda".

Bogle, recently retired from performing I believe, is a wonderful storyteller. Seek out more of his work.



Pete Zicato  Monday Feb 28 03:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhianne View Post
The Pogues did a decent cover of Eric Bogle's "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda".

Bogle, recently retired from performing I believe, is a wonderful storyteller. Seek out more of his work.
I knew I had run into the name Eric Bogle before, but had to go looking to figure it out.

He wrote "If Wishes Were Fishes" an excellent tune which I first heard on the North Sea Gas Keltic Heritage CD.


Shawnee123  Monday Feb 28 03:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
Amazing. The end of an era.

I remember as a kid, watching parades and seeing vets marching and you'd have a bunch of people for WWII, and just a handful of old men slowly marching along for the WWI group. Now they are all gone. It's sad.
My mom and I always get teary-eyed at the vets in the parades. I'll have to ask her about her memory of WWI vets. Her uncle was killed in WWII, but I bet there is some WWI history from our family she could tell me about too.

Very sad indeed. And so many died in World War 1, the whole thing is just almost unfathomable.


Bullitt  Monday Feb 28 08:53 PM

Thanks for posting this UT. It was buried under all the Oscars bullshit on CNN.com and almost missed it myself. As far as I'm concerned this should be headline news on every outlet in America. He is the last one. The last one. Our country no longer has any living connection to the soldiers of WWI.



Griff  Monday Feb 28 09:05 PM

Good call.



Adak  Monday Feb 28 11:02 PM

I don't know who thought up that number of servicemen in Europe, but it's grossly too high.

Quote:
As of March 20, 1918, 297,000 US troops had been sent to fight in World War I.

SOURCE: US Army in the World War, 1917-1919: Organization of American Expeditionary Forces. Historical Division Department of the Army, Washington, D.C. 1948

By the end of May 1918 the number of US troops in Europe was 600,000.

SOURCE: Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

Answer

250,000

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_A...#ixzz1FJgM25i5
About 300,000, but add in the Navy and Marines, and it would be closer to 420,00 or so. Not 4.7 million.

the dramatic loss of Americans was not from WWI, but from the "Spanish Flu" epidemic, that swept around the world in waves. That epidemic killed more people, and more soldiers, than the war did.

The number killed and injured was exceptionally high even so. The tactics used were those of the civil war - against machine guns, modern artillery, and repeating rifles - and poison gas was used, as well. Good example was the attack by the British/Aussies, at Gallipoli, against the defending Turks. Sheer disaster that one.


HungLikeJesus  Monday Feb 28 11:42 PM

But soldiers are people too.



Undertoad  Monday Feb 28 11:45 PM

answers.com is not a reliable source. Try a .mil site like here.



Undertoad  Monday Feb 28 11:50 PM

Wikipedia puts the number at 4,355,000



SPUCK  Tuesday Mar 1 06:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullitt View Post
He is the last one. The last one.
The
Very
Last
One...



A few weeks ago I was downtown in my podunk little city of 50k. I saw an obelisk I hadn't really noticed before. On examining it I was surprised to see it was a WWI memorial to the fallen solders from our town. There were more than fifty names on it! I was pretty stunned thinking how many solders must've bought it in that war for my town, which must've only had about 7,000 then, to have lost that many.


Adak  Tuesday Mar 1 02:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad View Post
In uniform during the war? Yes.

In Europe, or a War Zone during the war? divide by 10 (about 450,000)


Pete Zicato  Tuesday Mar 1 04:20 PM

The original quote was "Buckles' family asks that donations be made to the National World War I Legacy Project to honor Frank Buckles and the 4,734,991 Americans that he served with during World War I."

If that number served during WW1, then he served with them. The non-combatants also served their country.



Pete Zicato  Tuesday Mar 1 04:34 PM

From here: "France lost sixteen percent of its mobilized forces, the highest mortality rate relative to troops deployed."

From here:
US lost 116,708 combatants.

That would put us at ~ 25% losses by your numbers. Something doesn't seem right.



Undertoad  Tuesday Mar 1 05:24 PM

I get it now, and Adak's right, the key word here seems to be "mobilized". 4.7 M were "mobilized".

And perhaps it's the difference between mobilization of European soldiers (go right to the battlefield gents, it's 100 yards to your left) and American soldiers (you're trained, in uniform, and have a dog tag, now wait here on base while we find more boats).



Pico and ME  Tuesday Mar 1 07:23 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPUCK View Post
The
Very
Last
One...



A few weeks ago I was downtown in my podunk little city of 50k. I saw an obelisk I hadn't really noticed before. On examining it I was surprised to see it was a WWI memorial to the fallen solders from our town. There were more than fifty names on it! I was pretty stunned thinking how many solders must've bought it in that war for my town, which must've only had about 7,000 then, to have lost that many.
My hometown has a doughboy memorial but I dont know how many names are on it. My maternal grandfather was a bugler in that war. He died young, before I was born.


ZenGum  Wednesday Mar 2 06:21 PM

Only two WWI veterans left in the whole world.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2...03/3153676.htm

Quote:
British-born Claude "Chuckles" Choules was born in 1901 and signed up for the Great War at just 14 years of age, serving in the British Royal Navy.

He then moved to Australia, serving as an officer with the Australian Navy in World War II.

Mr Choules, who lives in a Perth nursing home, will mark his birthday just days after the death of American Frank Buckles made him the conflict's last surviving male veteran.

He lied about his age to join the Royal Navy - later witnessing the 1919 scuttling of the German fleet at Scapa Flow.

Mr Choules became the 1914-1918 war's last surviving combatant after Mr Buckles' death at 110 on Sunday. British veterans Henry Allingham and Harry Patch, aged 110 and 113 respectively, both died in 2009.

The only other surviving WWI veteran is believed to be Britain's Florence Green, who served with the Royal Air Force in a non-combat role and is now 110 years old.



Elspode  Sunday Mar 6 06:18 PM

Kansas City is home to the National World War I Museum, constructed beneath the Liberty Memorial, a monument dedicated to those who served in WWI. Tree Fae's father, who has an amazing militariana collection, has long been active with this facility. There will be a ceremony honoring Buckles on March 12.

http://www.theworldwar.org/s/110/new...community.aspx

The Memorial. Yes, we realize it is incredibly phallic, and this is why the park there has long been the premiere trolling spot for gay sex. Seriously.



Spexxvet  Monday Mar 7 03:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspode View Post
The Memorial. Yes, we realize it is incredibly phallic,
That's an understatement. It even has testicles!


chrisinhouston  Thursday Mar 17 03:10 PM

My grandmother's brother died in that war. He was shot by a German sniper somewhere along enemy lines and died instantly. The war ended one week later.

Bummer.



onetrack  Thursday Mar 17 11:48 PM

WW1

Few people know that the American troops learnt tactics and strategies from the Australian troops during WW1. The Australians had already been fighting for nearly 4 years, when the first American troops arrived to join combat in July 1918.

There was much argument as to who was going to control the American troops. The Australians, who were under British officer control for much of the early part of the War, were verifiably enraged by the British officers incompetence, which led to extreme losses in Australian lives from 1914 to early 1918.

It was only when the Australians demanded that Australian troops be led by Australian officers (who they considered vastly more competent than the British officers) .. that General (later Sir) John Monash was appointed as Commander of Australian troops, with direct planning and control of all Australian forces.

General John Monash was a construction engineer in civilian life, but had an outstanding and unique ability to understand that the tactics required to win a war, involved meticulous planning, the combined co-ordination and use of every new development in war .. such as aeroplanes, tanks, and motorised transport .. along with new ground tactics that evolved from hard Australian experience won in earlier battles.

The result was, that it was agreed, that the first American troops would be placed with, and under the control of the Australians, at the Battle of Hamel.
This was done, so the relatively untested Doughboys and their officers could quickly learn the relevant war tactics needed, and the modus operandi of General Monash's tactics.

The Battle of Hamel was an outstanding result for Monash, and the Australian and American troops. Under Monash's plan, the troops were to seize its objective (the town) in 90 minutes, with minimal troop losses .. unlike most British plans, that cared little about troop losses, that had disorganised tactics, and that would make troops walk straight into massed machine guns.

The Battle of Hamel was concluded in precisely 94 minutes, with the objective successfully seized, and with minimal troop losses, due to the careful co-ordination of artillery, aeroplanes, tanks and troops, as per Monash's precise plan.
The American troops proved themselves worthy fighters .. although the Australians were bemused by the risk-taking, gung-ho, attitude of the Americans .. whereby the Australians were a little more circumspect, and would not unnecessarily risk their lives.

General Sir John Monash went on to win all 15 of the major battles he commanded, from July 1918 onwards .. and it was stated that if Monash had been handed full control of WW1 from the outset, the War would have been won unconditionally in half the time, with minimal troop losses.

The war tactics instigated by Monash are still the same tactics used by the Americans and Australians today, in any war. They are proven tactics, and they were earnt with many tens of thousands of mens lives.
WW1 had a massive impact on Australia, with losses running into hundreds of thousands of men. In every little town in Australia, no matter how small, there is a WW1 memorial with a long list of names on it.
The societal devastation of WW1 on Australia, was more severe than any war before or since .. even WW2.

Interesting reading below, for those interested in the relationships between the Doughboys and the Diggers, in WW1 ..

http://www.awm.gov.au/journal/j35/blair.asp



SPUCK  Friday Mar 18 06:45 AM

Interesting info thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onetrack View Post
and it was stated that if Monash had been handed full control of WW1 from the outset, the War would have been won unconditionally in half the time, with minimal troop losses.
You never know. Being "in charge" of all the forces may have made Monash useless, since it's less of an engineering task and more of a paper shuffling political job.


ZenGum  Saturday Mar 19 12:52 AM

Monash essentially invented Blitzkrieg.



casimendocina  Saturday Mar 19 10:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenGum View Post
Monash essentially invented Blitzkrieg.
Have you been watching those history programs on the ABC?


xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Mar 20 10:33 AM

The Aussies have been our best ally. More balls than Canada (leadership), and less political than the Brits (Montgomery).



ZenGum  Thursday May 5 11:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenGum View Post
Only two WWI veterans left in the whole world.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2...03/3153676.htm
Mr Choules is with us no more.

Quote:
The man believed to have been the last living male veteran of World War I has died in Perth aged 110.

British-born Claude Choules served in the Royal Navy during World War I and witnessed the scuttling of the German fleet at Scapa Flow.

Mr Choules was born in 1901 and signed up for the Great War at just 14 years of age.

After the war, he moved to Perth and joined the Australian Navy, working as a demolition officer at the Fremantle Harbour during World War II.

Mr Choules died in his sleep in a Perth nursing home overnight.

The only other surviving WWI veteran is believed to be Britain's Florence Green, who served with the Royal Air Force in a non-combat role and is now 110 years old.

'He hated war'

In March, Mr Choules celebrated his 110th birthday.

At the time, Mr Choules's son, Adrian, spoke about his father's war experience.

He said his father had been taught to think "that the Germans... were monsters, terrible people" after joining the navy.

Adrian Choules said his father soon realised "they were exactly the same as any young people".

"And he hated war. War for him was a way of making a living, that was his job," he said.

Mr Choules said when his father talked about his life he rarely mentioned his war experiences, adding the only military marches he participated in were when he was a serviceman.

"He wasn't interested in war, war to him was a terrible thing," he said.

Claude Choules was born in Wyre Piddle in the English Midlands on March 3, 1901.

He moved to Australia in 1926 and served in the RAN, becoming chief demolition officer for Australia's vast western coastline, which was then considered vulnerable to attack from the Japanese.

In 2009, Mr Choules published a book about his life, The Last of the Last, in which he credited his longevity to keeping his family close.

His grandson, Mal Edinger, says he has fond memories of spending school holidays with his grandfather.

"He used to come and stay with us for two weeks on Garden Island," he said.

"Always a fitness fanatic, he'd have us up at 6:00 in the morning in winter, running up and down the beach.

"We'd come back and on the stove, Granny would have a big pot of porridge or as he'd called it 'burgoo'."

Mr Edinger says his grandfather was a great family man.

"He was a great grandfather in that he just loved his family," he said.

"To us as grandchildren, he never talked about the bad things that happened in war, but he'd talk about swallow diving off the fly bridge off [HMS] Eagle, which he was on at the time."



xoxoxoBruce  Saturday May 7 11:41 AM

Quote:
The man believed to have been the last living male veteran of World War I has died in Perth aged 110.
Last Aussie, isn't there one more in England... joined the Royal Navy at 14, or something?


Quarantine  Saturday May 7 01:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
Last Aussie, isn't there one more in England... joined the Royal Navy at 14, or something?
The last 3 veterans living in Britain were Bill Stone, Henry Allingham and Harry Patch, they all died in 2009. This leaves the one non-combatant from WW1, Florence Green, who served in the Women's Royal Air Force.


ZenGum  Saturday May 7 09:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
Last Aussie, isn't there one more in England... joined the Royal Navy at 14, or something?
Psst:

Quote:
British-born Claude Choules served in the Royal Navy during World War I and witnessed the scuttling of the German fleet at Scapa Flow.

Mr Choules was born in 1901 and signed up for the Great War at just 14 years of age.

After the war, he moved to Perth and joined the Australian Navy, working as a demolition officer at the Fremantle Harbour during World War II.
Same chap, I think.


xoxoxoBruce  Saturday May 14 09:50 AM

Yes, I believe you're right, same guy.
Thanks Quarantine, so the combatants are gone.



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