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Buckles Posters 2

Buckles Posters 2

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Published by Charles Machon

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Charles Machon on Sep 03, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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Frank Woodruff Buckles
Last Known American Veteran of World War I
EarlyLifeinMissouri
BornonFeb.1,1901,FrankBuckleswasgiventhename
“WoodBuckles”,
whichhelaterchangedtoFrankWoodruff.Buckleslivedonafarm,firstinHarrisonCounty,andlaterinDaviessCounty,Mo.In1910,theBucklesfamilymovedtoVernonCounty,Mo,nearthetownofWalker.TheBucklesfamilymovedagainin1915toOakwood,Okla.YoungFrankwenttoworkinabankataboutage15,whilestillattendingschool.Thoughhehasnotlivedinthestateforover90years,BucklesstillconsidershimselftobeaMissourinative.
LastVeteran
FrankBucklesbecame
America’s
lastknownlivingveteranofWorldWarIonFeb.4,2008,uponthedeathofHarryLandisofSunCity,Fla.BuckleswashonoredintheovalofficebyPresidentGeorgeBushonMarch6,2008.CurrentlyresidinginWestVirginia,Buckleshasoutlivedmorethan4millionothersoldierswhoservedtheUnitedStatesduringthe
“War 
toendall
Wars”
.BucklesvisitedhisformerhomestateofMissouriforMemorialDay,2008.
Frank Buckles received the Legion of Honor from French PresidentJacques Chirac at the French Embassy in Washington D.C. in 1999.
“ 
There are, it may be, many months of fiery trial and sacrifice ahead of us. It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into themost terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be
in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace…” 
President Woodrow Wilson:Address to Congress, April 2, 1917
 
The First World War
Enlistment
Attending the Kansas StateFair in Wichita in the summer of1917, young Frank Buckles wantedto join the U.S. Army. Unable to makea recruiter believe that he was really 21,Buckles went to Oklahoma City where he
claimed that he couldn’t prove his age since
he had no birth certificate. The captain allowedthe 16-year-old to join up without further questioning.
Basic Training
After enlistment, the Armyordered Buckles to Fort Logan,Colo. for basic training. While atFort Logan, Buckles volunteered forthe Army Ambulance Corps. He joined102 other men of the 1
st
Fort Riley CasualDetachment at Fort Riley, Kan. for training inambulance driving and trench retrieval techniques.It was with this unit that Buckles traveled to Europe.
 
PresidentWoodrowWilsonaskedtheU.S.CongresstodeclarewaronGermanyonApril2,1917.ThewarinEuropehadbeenragingfornearly3yearsbythistimeand
Germany’s
unrestrictedsubmarinewarfareendangeredAmericanshipping.WilsonaskedthatAmericaenterthewarbecause
,“The
worldmustbemadesafefor
democracy”
.Street scene of Fort Logan, Colo., ca. 1917.
“The old, knowledgeable sergeantsaid ‘If you want to get to France
in a hurry, go into the ambulanceservice because the French are
begging for ambulance drivers.’ soI applied for that .” 
Frank Buckles, 2007
1st Ft. Riley Casual Detachment, Ft. Riley, Kan., 1917
.
 
 Journey to France: 1918
 
Frank Buckles sailed for Europe with the 1
st
Fort Riley Casual Detachment inDecember, 1917. He shipped out aboard
R.M.S. Carpathia,
the vessel famed forrescuing survivors of the
Titanic 
sinking in 1912. Buckles recalls meeting some ofthe crew who witnessed the
Titanic 
disaster.
R.M.S. Carpathia,
The ship which transported Frank Buckles to England in December, 1917,and was sunk by a German U-boat in July, 1918.
Gen. John J. Pershing was placed incommand of the AmericanExpeditionary Force sent to Europe.Pershing faced the enormous task ofmoving millions of men and tons ofsupplies from the United States toports in Britain and France.Winchester Cathedral
Winchester, England
Frank Buckles landed in Glasgow, Scotland where he wasordered to Camp Hospital #35 near Winchester, England. Theyoung Soldier itched to get into the fighting. However, he wasforced to wait impatiently to be sent across the Channel toFrance. While in England, Buckles toured historic sitesbetween his duties of driving a staff car and a motorcycle.Buckles was so eager to get to the Front that he hatched a plotto steal away by surreptitiously falling in with a group ofSoldiers entraining for France.
“ 
I took three other men intomy confidence and at myassigned time, they were attheir place, but it was onetime I had been called out at
night and I didn’t show up. So
when an hour came and I 
didn’t appear after a while,
they fell in line and they wentover to France, the three men.In about a month they cameback, under escort. They had a trial and I think they probably got a couple of months hard labor which
wasn’t labor at all. So thatwas out.” 
Frank Buckles, 2007
“I let any person who had any
influence know that I wanted to get
to France.” 
Frank Buckles,
Smithsonian 
2008
AcrosstheChannel
BucklesfinallysailedtoFranceasanescorttoanofficersometimein1918.HeescortedtheofficerfromtheportofSouthampton,EnglandtoParisandBordeaux.Thisofficerapparentlyneededtheassistance,asheappearedtobementallyunstable.Buckleswitnessedanextraordinarysightonenightwhenhischargecameintoaroomcrawlingonhishandsandknees,barkinglikeadog.Buckleswaseventuallyreleasedfromhisdutytotheofficer.Helateractedinvarioussupportrolesbehindthelines(suchasdrivinganambulance)fortherestofthewar.
“It was a very primitive feeding system [aboard the
Carpathia
 ]. I recall watching fish heads being
brought up from the hold [presumably for dinner].” 
Frank Buckles, 2007

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