America’s oldest living World War II veteran has passed away in Bossier Parish, Louisiana.
At 110 years old, cigar-smoking, gun-loving Frank Levingston was the oldest living man in the United States. Born on November 13, 1905 in North Carolina, Mr. Levingston was one of 7 children.
Inspired to action by the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Levingston enlisted in the US Army and served as a private during the Allied invasion of Italy. He remained in service until receiving an honorable discharge in 1945.
“I’ve been through so many dangerous things and I’m still here. I’m thankful to the almighty God for it,” Mr. Levingston told local reporters on his 110th birthday. “I think I’m one of the blessed ones.”
After leaving the service, he became a union mason with an expertise in finishing cement.
On August 16, 2015, following the death of Emma Didlake, Mr. Levinston became the oldest surviving military veteran in the United States.
That recognition led to him being part of an honor flight to the nation’s capital in December of 2015. That was Mr. Levingston’s first visit to Washington and the war memorials. He helped commemorate Pearl Harbor day as part of the wreath laying ceremony at the WWII Monument.
President Obama was not able to make time to meet America’s oldest veteran but Mr. Levingston was able to meet the entire Congressional delegation from Louisiana.
“He’s always got a kind word and he lets me know that sometimes it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” Pamela Gobert, one of Levingston’s good friends, told reporters. “One time we were at Memorial and a young lady asked him ‘Mr. Frank how old are you going to live?’ and he said ‘110.’”
He was right.
A member of what is called “The Greatest Generation”, Mr. Levingston had little formal education and always said his best advice for a happy life is to “Be honest. That’s about all I can tell you.”
The current oldest living veteran is Richard Overton of Austin, Texas. Guns.com went down to Louisiana to talk to him about his life and his love for guns and cigars. That’s about as American as it gets.