Oldest living WWII vet celebrates 109th birthday

Mighty fine at 109. That is how the oldest living World War II veteran in the U.S. said he feels celebrating his 109th birthday.

Richard Overton was born May 11, 1906 in Bastrop County. Almost 109 years later he can usually be found on his porch in East Austin smoking a cigar. A little more than a week before his actual birthday, on May 3rd, Overton celebrated a very full life with friends and family at his neighbor's home.

"This a long trip and it ain't through yet," Overton said.  

The Army veteran served in the South Pacific from 1942 to 1945 during World War II.

"Shot at many times, but I didn't get a scratch," Overton said about his time overseas.  
When Overton returned from the war, he built a house in East Austin where he has lived ever since.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler was the celebration and told Overton, "You are one of the treasures that we have in this city."  

Overton's neighbor Helen Elliott said she loves to hear about Overton's experience in the war.

"He's just the coolest neighbor on the planet. He's so much fun and always has the best stories and he always has a birthday party in his front yard and a couple months ago he said, 'When you going to throw a party in your yard for me?'" said Elliott.

Elliott took the opportunity and ran with it. She had the event catered by Mighty Fine Burgers, Fries and Shakes and reached out to some local and national celebrities.

"I thought she was mostly joking. I didn't think all this would be here. If I knew all this, I'd have jumped twice. I'd say, 'Yeah, let's have it,'" said Overton.

Even President Barack Obama sent a letter wishing Overton a "Happy 109th."
"Everywhere I go somebody knows me, but I don't know them, but everybody knows me," said Overton.  

"I feel honored. I feel really honored. What he's done for this country, for our community, I feel really honored and special to be here," said Elliott.  
While he credits god as the reason he has made it through so many years, Overton's got a few tricks of his own.

"Whiskey and cigars and never stop moving," Elliott said.  

 "To think I'd be older than every soldier in the Union? You believe that? I didn't ever think that," said Overton.  

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent


FOX 7 News streams at the following times (all times Central):

Monday - Friday

4:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.

12 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.

5 p.m. - 6 p.m.

9 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.


6 a.m. - 8 a.m.

6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

9 p.m. to 10 p.m.


6 a.m. - 8 a.m.

5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

9 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Schedule subject to change in the event of network sports coverage.

We also stream press conferences and other breaking news coverage from time to time. When we are not in a live newscast, you will see replays of the most recent broadcast.

To enter full screen Mode click the button.

For closed captioning, click on the button while in full screen mode.

Desktop/tablet users: To choose the stream's video quality, click on the button (while in full screen mode) and choose from 432p or 270p.

Mobile users:The video quality default is to your phone's settings.

Please allow time for buffering. If the stream stalls, refresh your browser. Thanks for watching

Stories You May Be Interested In - Includes Advertiser Stories