Wednesday, February 6, 2008

WW I Veteran Dies

Harry Richard Landis, aged 108, died Monday. He was one of two living US World War One Veterans. From the AP:
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Harry Richard Landis, who enlisted in the Army in 1918 and was one of only two known surviving U.S. veterans of World War I, has died. He was 108.

Landis, who lived at a Sun City Center nursing home, died Monday, according to the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs.

The remaining U.S. veteran is Frank Buckles, 107, of Charles Town, W.Va., according the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition, John Babcock of Spokane, Wash., 107, served in the Canadian army and is the last known Canadian veteran of the war.

Another World War I vet, Ohioan J. Russell Coffey, died in December at 109. The last known German World War I veteran, Erich Kaestner, died New Year's Day at 107.

Landis trained as a U.S. Army recruit for 60 days at the end of the war and never went overseas. But the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs counts him among the 4.7 million men and woman who served during the Great War.

In an interview with The Associated Press last April in his Sun City Center apartment, Landis recalled that his time in the Student Army Training Corps involved a lot of marching.

"I don't remember too much about it," said Landis, who enlisted while in college in Fayette, Mo., at age 18. "We went to school in the afternoon and drilled in the morning."

They often drilled in their street clothes.

"We got our uniforms a bit at a time. Got the whole uniform just before the war ended," Landis said. "Fortunately, we got our great coats first. It was very cold out there.



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