The last identified living American veteran of World War I: Mr. Frank Woodruff Buckles
Recently Specialty Care Services had the pleasure and honor of providing aide services for Mr. Frank Buckles.
Frank Woodruff Buckles (born February 1, 1901) is the last identified living American veteran of World War I. He currently lives in Charles Town, WV and is the Honorary Chairman of the World War I Memorial Foundation.
Mr. Buckles enlisted in the U.S. Army in April 1917 at 16 years old after lying to the recruiter about his age. During the war Mr. Buckles served in England and France, driving ambulances and motorcycles for the Army’s 1st Fort Riley Casual Detachment. After the Armistice in 1918, Buckles escorted prisoners of war back to Germany. He was honorably discharged from the army in 1919.
Upon his return home, Mr. Buckles worked for the White Star Line, a shipping company in Canada that also operated the Titanic. During World War II he worked as a civilian for an American shipping company in the Philippine Islands. He was captured by the Japanese in 1942 and spent the next three years in the Los Baños prison camp. He was rescued on February 23, 1945.
For his service during World War I, Mr. Buckles received the WWI Victory Medal, the US Army of Occupation Medal, France’s Légion d’honneur, commonly refer to as the French Legion of Honor presented to him by then French president Jacques Chirac, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Gold Medal of Merit presented at the Liberty Memorial (WWI Museum) in Kansas City, MO.
Most recently, Mr. Buckles received the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry’s Knight Commander of the Court of Honour (KCCH) on September 24, 2008 at the Scottish Rite’s, House of the Temple in Washington, DC. The KCCH is the last honor a freemason receives prior to the 33°. The ceremony was hosted by Ronald Seale, 33°, Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, U.S.A. A key note address was provided by then Secretary of Veteran Affairs James Peake.