World's Oldest Living World War II Veteran and Whiskey Fan Turns 111
Richard Overton celebrated with a party and even got a street named after him.
Richard Overton, the world's oldest living World War II veteran, has turned 111 years old.
The Austin, Texas, resident, who served in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945, was treated like a king as he turned another year older on Thursday — and even got a street named after him.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler attended a lunch in Overton's honor at the University of Texas Club in Austin where guests ate a birthday cake that read: "Happy 111th Birthday Pop!"
"Celebrating Richard Overton's 111th birthday is a chance to celebrate what is best about our country and our community," Adler tweeted. "That's why today I am declaring today, May 11, 2017, as Richard Overton Day in Austin, Texas."
At the event, Adler surprised Overton with a temporary sign for his street that read "Richard Overton Avenue."
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley also wished Overton well on Twitter.
"On behalf of myself, the men & women of @Austin_Police we would like to wish Mr. Richard Overton a happy birthday," he wrote Thursday. "Thanks for your service."
Overton was born on a farm in Bastrop County, just outside Austin, in 1906. He enlisted in the Army during WWII and served in the all-black 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
He traveled to Iwo Jima, Guam, Hawaii and Okinawa, and worked as base security, a Jeep driver for a lieutenant, and did burial detail, according to the VA. While he saw enemy fire, he returned home without a scratch.
Back in Texas, he worked at a local furniture store and the Texas Department of the Treasury in Austin, where he remained until he was nearly 100 years old, according to the VA.
In 2013, he met President Barack Obama at the White House for breakfast before accompanying him to Arlington National Cemetery for a Veterans Day ceremony.
These days, he enjoys smoking cigars and drinking whiskey, and in an interview with the Austin-American Statesman this week, he said he hoped to get whiskey for his birthday.
"I like any kind you’ll bring me," he said.
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