Mighty fine at 109 – America’s Oldest Veteran


America’s oldest WWII veteran celebrated his 109th birthday eating burgers, smoking cigars and drinking milkshakes. The resident of Austin, Texas, Richard Overton celebrated his birthday with his friends and neighbors. Local dignitaries and reporters also attended Overton’s outdoor birthday party and smoked cigars with brave WWII veteran.

Richard Overton has been mentioned in a number of magazines and newspaper reports especially the ‘Wall Street Journal’ for his bravery and upright personality. It was reported that Overtone still drives his car and takes care of his garden. He also helps widows and other old people to get to church services.

Overton’s friends say that he is a huge fan of cigars and whiskey. Although he enjoys less whiskey then cigars, however Overton enjoys occasional sessions of whiskey. When asked about his health and longevity, Overton replies with gratitude and humility. Overton says God has absolutely helped him a great deal to get to where he is now. He has strong faith on God and regularly visits his local church.


Every year Overton celebrates his birthday in his backyard with friends. But this year a friend and a neighbor organized an outdoor party at her place. Helen Elliot said that she was very excited for Overton for successfully crossing the milestone of 109 with great health and energy. She added that Overton is the coolest neighbor of the world. Overton’s birthday party was sponsored by a local franchise ‘Mighty Fine Burgers’; the party theme was ‘Mighty Fine at 109. A large number of friends and neighbors attended the party; Mayor of Austin also showed up and hailed Overton as the greatest treasure of the city.

Richard Overton was born in 1906 in Texas; he joined and served US Army from 1942 to 1945. Overton fought against the Japanese in Pacific as a part of all black 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion. After the war Overton joined a local furniture shop. Though officially Overton was retired at 65, but due to his friendly personality he was re-hired by the company for a couple of times. Overton says he continued to work until he was 100, and he then decided to finally leave the job and stay at home, The Washington Post reports.

Overton met the President Obama in 2013, in a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.  Later, Obama mentioned Overton in his speech to the audience. Overton thinks that he could never imagine that one day an African American would be the President of USA. President Barack Obama praised Overton’s service for the nation and said that America has become a much more tolerant and free society; a society that people like Overton fought for during the war.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE