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Farewell to Frank Buckles, last surviving U.S. World War I veteran

Left: courtesy David DeJonge. Right: Karen Bleier / AFP - Getty Images file

Frank Buckles, who was the last surviving US World War I veteran. The photo on the left was taken in 1917, and the photo on the right was taken on June 18, 2008 when Buckles, then 107, was honored by members of Congress and veterans on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Frank Buckles, the last surviving U.S. veteran of World War I, has died. He was 110.

Buckles, who also survived being a civilian POW in the Philippines in World War II, died peacefully of natural causes early Sunday at his home in Charles Town, biographer and family spokesman David DeJonge said in a statement. Buckles turned 110 on Feb. 1 and had been advocating for a national memorial honoring veterans of World War I in Washington, D.C.

Buckles lied about his age to join the army at age 16. The Missouri native was among nearly 5 million Americans who served in World War I in 1917 and 1918.

"I knew there'd be only one (survivor) someday. I didn't think it would be me," he was quoted as saying in recent years. Continue reading.

NBC's Bob Faw interviewed Frank Buckles in 2007, when he was 106 years old.

You can read more about Buckles' extraordinary life at the website for Pershing's Last Patriot, a documentary film slated for release this year.

The Veterans' History Project has fascinating archive material on Buckles' service, including historical photographs, audio and video interviews and his enlistment record from August 14th, 1917.