April 3, 2008
City of birth:
Scotch, Irish, English
Steamship business-at sea from 1923-after 1946. Traveled to South America, Central American, and the Philippines. In 1954, my wife and I settled on a 330 acre cattle farm, near the area where my forefather settled in 1732. I still manage the farm with the help of my only daughter and son-in-law.
War(s) in which you served:
WWI-(1917-1920) Army Corporal - training at Fort Riley, Kansas. Served as a driver in England and France, and a prisoner-of-war escort in Germany. WWII - spent 3 1/2 years as a civilian prisoner-of-war in Japan. I was on assignment with a steamship business in the Philippines, when the Japanese invaded in December of 1941. I was rescued by the 11th Airborne Division on February 23, 1945.
Best thing about being your age:
I have seen a lot of changes. I have a strong desire to live, I am in great shape and excercise everyday.
What would people be surprised to learn about you:
-I am the last living WWI U.S. Veteran. I was only 16 when I enlisted with the Army in 1917. I tried twice to sign with the Marines and the Navy in Wichita, KS, then tried the Marines and Navy again in Oklahoma City, KS but was turned down each time because of my age. I then tried the Army. They asked for my birth certificate and I told them Missouri did not keep public records of births at that time and the only record was in my family Bible. They accepted me and I was sworn in at Fort Logan, CO. I give at least one interview on a daily basis. I also speak German and Spanish and studied French, Italian, and Portugese.