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searching for last Doughboys of World War I
only four believed still alive
WASHINGTON (April 4, 2007) -- With the number of
known living American veterans of World War I
now standing at four, the Department of Veterans
Affairs (VA) is seeking public assistance in
determining whether others are still alive.
"These veterans have earned the gratitude and
respect of the nation," said Secretary of
Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson. "We are coming
to the end of a generation that helped bring the
United States to the center of the international
Nicholson noted that VA usually knows about the
identity and location of veterans only after
they come to the Department for benefits. None
of the four known surviving World War I veterans
has been on the VA benefits rolls.
The Secretary asks members of the general public
who know of a surviving World War I veteran to
contact VA. To qualify as a World War I
veteran, someone must have been on active duty
between April 6, 1917 and Nov. 11, 1918.
VA is also looking for surviving Americans
who served in the armed forces of allied
Information about survivors can be e-mailed
firstname.lastname@example.org; faxed to 202-273-6702, or
mailed to the Office of Public Affairs,
Department of Veterans Affairs (80), 810
Vermont Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20420.
About 4.7 million men and women served in the
U.S. armed forces during World War I. About
53,000 died in combat, with another 204,000
The four known surviving World War I veterans
are John Babcock, 102, from Puget Sound, Wash.;
Frank Buckles, 106, Charles Town, W.Va.; Russell
Coffey, 108, North Baltimore, Ohio; and Harry
Landis, 107, Sun City Center, Fla.
Babcock is an American who served in the
Canadian Army. The other three survivors were
in the U.S. Army.