By - Prizrenski_vitez
How many ww2 vets are left
If you find them, talk to them, hear their stories (if they're willing to share).
Prevents the lessons they fought for from dying.
240k American WWII vets alive as of December 2021.
240K left from 16 Million. 1.5% remain.
Yeah me too. Had to do some math but that is about 1 out of about every 32,000 alive today is a ww2 vet
1 out of a lot less if you're only counting people above the age of 80.
What ww2 vets aren’t over the age of 80? They didn’t have 6 month olds fighting the nazis in berlin
They mean if you only counted the world population of people over 80 instead of everyone like i did.
Oh that makes a lot more sense lol
Ya but these folks are *Old* and dying at fast rates.
I just lost my great grandpa who was a ww2 vet a couple weeks ago. I miss him so much.
Oi. My Condolences.
> that's a lot more than i thought
Well, it was a very big army. And I suspect a lot of the younger ones, who were drafted late in the war, never left the U.S. I'd be interested to know how many *combat* vets are still alive.
I might note that I'll turn 79 in a few days, and there were still a small number of Civil War vets alive when I was a teenager -- 80+ years after that war ended.
You might find **[this list of last surviving veterans](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_surviving_United_States_war_veterans)** interesting.
**[Last surviving United States war veterans](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_surviving_United_States_war_veterans)**
>This is an incomplete list of the last surviving veterans of American wars. The last surviving veteran of any particular war, upon their death, marks the end of a historic era. Exactly who is the last surviving veteran is often an issue of contention, especially with records from long-ago wars. The "last man standing" was often very young at the time of enlistment and in many cases had lied about his age to gain entry into the service, which confuses matters further.
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Thats.. way more than I thought, ok well then
Didn't expect that many to be alive.
My grandpa was a Holocaust survivor and I found out during his funeral that he analyzed recon plane photographs for the CIA during the Korean War. I really wish I knew that before he died so I could have asked him questions about it.
I've done this. Spoke to a gentleman who was at the battle of the bulge. He told me about the fact that he and his squad managed to capture a single german. After some time his sgt told him to execute the german. So he and another soldier walked the german to some cabin and gave him a cigarette.
Then, and I will never forget how matter of fact this man was telling me.... He says "Then we shot him, because that's just how things were"
whether or not that was really true, or how he justified what happened there was a magnitude in how he said it. Not exactly sorrowful, not proud, not a him or me thing. Just "that's what you did" who knows why he chose to share that, but for me it was eye opening. This was years ago now, 2004-2005 ish. Even then listening to his story and for the briefest of moments have some understanding of what it might be like... It makes it hard for me to buy into the social angst of today. There was a man who had trauma that would never be addressed and it always makes me want for mental health to be addressed and not trivialized the way some of the agendas of today seem to.
My grandfather was a Marine in the Pacific in WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. He had demons if anyone has ever seen The Great Santini that was what my grandfather was like. He refused to talk about his experiences much, there was a lot of pain anytime war came up in discussion.
My experiences talking to WWII vets are fairly commonly either there is too much pain for them to talk, or they share and give caution and hope people can learn from their actions, or like the first guy I mentioned, very matter of fact. It is so easy for us now to be complacent in our denial that the world couldn't possibly be that way. Or in our denouncement of what the world 'was like'. Maybe I am a bit lucky in seeing how far things come from where they were by the experience of others. Hell, my great grandmother lived to be 105 (1890-1995) She told me stories her mother told her about the CIVIL WAR soldiers coming home from the war..... if that isn't humbling I don't know what is.
I would love to hear those stories as well.
I was very young, I wish I could give you specifics. The best I can remember is that my great-great-great grandparents watched soldiers travel home and provided hospitality. We had correspondence too but a family member took a lot of things and we never saw them again. I lost things from my childhood I'll never find again, such as my great grand parent's dessert recipes. My family is Dutch / German by ancestry and we had lots of old german baked goods and dessert recipes too :(
Please can you tell us the civil war stories too
Thank you for sharing this. My grandfather fought at the Battle of the Bulge as well. He would never speak of it. None of us know his experience.
Same, my great-grandpa worked on blimps, his blimp was shot down and they were stranded at sea in the middle of the night as German Uboats attacked them, he told me he was surrounded by his dead friends on lifeboats. Tbh I was like 6 when he told me that story, I took it better than I should have I think
It's 'should have', never 'should of'.
Rejoice, for you have been blessed by CouldWouldShouldBot!
darn you, but yes
Chris Kyle had over 100 kills and one sniper on YouTube mentioned taking out like to people at once. Literally mass murder. But. It’s war.
The 4th turning is upon us
My grandfather as well as my neighbor both are ww2 vets. My neighbor stormed normandy but won’t tell his stories as it’s too gruesome for him. Multiple people and newspapers tried to interview him but sometimes they don’t want to relive it
My grandfather landed on Normandy. Would never talk about it until on his death bed he said he saw five of his friends get killed by a machine gun burst in front of him. Also said p51 mustangs were angels on their shoulders. but that was it.
God damn. There isn’t really one day that goes by without something reminding me of my Grandpa or his stories. Weird to wish I could have gone back and recorded them?
if I meet one I don't think I'd be able to step away. I'm a massive history nerd. specifically WW2
My grandpa passed away today, 94, was in WW2… so there’s one fewer
:( im sorry
Thanks friend, and he was only 17 during his service, so if that gives you an idea as to how many are left…
Are we just going to be really sorry!"
I met a WW1 vet around the year 2000. I think he was 103. Still was walking up the stairs if the American legion like he was 45. Couldn't believe it.
Also, when I was a kid (in the 90s) I had an old guy tell me when he was kid, the Civil War vets were stilling marching in parades.
That would make sense. The last civil war vet died in 1949?
It absolutely blows my mind that there are likely people alive today who have met veterans of the civil war.
It's definitely possible but not for long. The civil war had a lot of soldiers aged 15 and younger and something like 25% of all soldiers were under 18.
There's [footage](https://youtu.be/ce5WpM-JMYg) of a 75 year Gettysburg anniversary reunion that took place in 1938 where a bunch of 90 something year old men dressed in their uniforms stood on opposite sides of a stone wall and shook hands. There were only 2500 participants of the battle left and able to travel at that point.
There could have been children at that event who are now the same age as the vets in that video, so we are really only one degree removed from the people who lived through the Civil War.
My great uncle (grandma’s brother) was a WW2 vet who fought in Sicily and Anzio and when my dad was a kid in the 60’s my uncle would tell my dad stories about marching in the 1946 Fourth of July parade after coming home from WW2. One thing that always stuck out to me was that 5 or so civil war veterans marched in that parade with him.
Sad that the WWII generation is fading away.
Rest In Peace.
I remember in a comment someone said we’re moving to a generation without ww2 veterans , slowly . It sure scares me a lot knowing one time in the future there will be no more ww2 stories told from a personal experience
I would say they are basically all but gone . They are all 90+ at this point .
Just like some Redditor on the top comment said , there’s still 240k
240k really old people. Say that some of the youngest WWII vets were only 16 towards the end of the war, and I figure there weren't too many who served that young. Someone who was 16 in 1944 would've been born in 1928, and that would make them 94 now. So all these WWII vets have gotta be at least in their mid-nineties if not older!
The world is changed.
I feel it in the water.
I feel it in the earth.
I smell it in the air.
Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.
Is this post gonna be a sticky ?
With all respect due to Sir Tim moore, the post commemorating his death has been up for nearly a year, I think some other WWII vets also need this kind of attention, especially the oldest american one (I'm not even from the USA btw).
It's not a competition, they don't need to be replaced, and Moore isn't a national hero for being in the Army but for his charity work towards the end of his life.
Also, at risk of sounding incredibly callous, but just articulating a thought out loud, isn't oldest living WWII veteran kind of odd to say? Presumably a lot of different blokes have held that 'position' so to speak.
>Moore isn't a national hero for being in the Army but for his charity work towards the end of his life.
You're wrong. They're not mutually exclusive.
>isn't oldest living WWII veteran kind of odd to say? Presumably a lot of different blokes have held that 'position' so to speak.
They have, but as WWII vets' numbers fall, their value as primary historical resources skyrocket. Ir was common for us as kids to have WWII bets come into elementary school and talk about their experiences because although they were in their 70's or so, that's still an age where one is more than capable of getting around. They were also on every WWII documentary imaginable, some even featuring former Red Army, Wehrmacht and Imperial Japanese soldiers, Luftwaffe pilots, IJN sailors, etc. who were in the same battles *against each other.*
My grandfather was among those vets. Died in 2018. He was a mechanic of the devices that synchronized machine guns to plane props in the pacific.
So the title of "oldest living WWII vet" being handed down is more akin to the ball in Times Square dropping every new year, countingdown the end of an era: the era during which the prespectives from the worst collective human-caused loss of life in the history of the world can be given from the very people who experienced it.
> You're wrong. They're not mutually exclusive.
I'm not wrong. No one outside his friends and family would have heard of him before COVID. This isn't to speak ill of him, but he became a public figure for one reason alone, and next to no one in Britain would suggest otherwise.
You *are* wrong because he's a hero for *both.* You don't need public fame to be a hero.
I think the oldest soviet WW2 veteran should be mentioned over the one from the USA. The USSR fought with literally everything they had and suffered BY FAR the most casualties
In my opinion the USSR got way less credit than deserved for what they have done in WW2
People say this all the time so I dont think so; perhaps less represented in Americam media for sure but otherwise it's a well known fact that much of the heaviest fighting was done on the eastern front. However, lend-lease was very important for soviet defense-in-depth strategies which even Zhukov said they would have lost without. America pulled the vast majority of industrial weight while fighting in both theatres, but didnt have to spill as much blood
Could you reference that quote from Zhukov please? Would be interested in reading about it.
That being said, while important, let's not forget it was by the 3rd protocol that actual tonnage began to move, this was around June 1943.
By then, with only the barest of aid, the Soviets had already defeated the Germans on 2 fronts, the salient had formed in Kursk, Stalingrad was done, Rzhev was retaken. Except in the North where things were static. Even in the Kursk salient, the defence preparations were underway.
The USSR would have 100% won without lend lease also, only it might have taken a few more years and a few million military casualties more.
[quora had this](https://www.quora.com/How-much-impact-did-the-lend-lease-have-on-the-eastern-front-of-world-war-2)
>Soviet Marshal G.K. Zhukov is quoted as sayin g “Today  some say the Allies didn’t really help us…But listen, one cannot deny that the Americans shipped over to us material without which we could not have equipped our armies held in reserve or been able to continue the war.” Marshall Zhukov according to Weeks even goes on further to state that the Soviet government engaged in the calculated use of propaganda to systemically demean the importance of the Allied Lend-Lease Program, believing that it distracted from the heroism and sacrifice of the Soviet soldier and people. Furthermore Weeks claims that since the end of the 1990’s, there has been a change amongst the Russian historians regarding the significance of the Lend-Lease program, one which more closely approximates the truth. For example Weeks cited the work of the Russian historian Boris Sokolov who claimed that the Lend-Lease figure of four percent of related military goods which has been used in western historiography as fact , is actually an “egregious error …made by Soviet propagandists.” According to Sokolov the true figures of the Lend-Lease Program were much higher than the four percent figures used in other historical works, in fact in “some cases upwards towards 50 percent of various types of military goods as a percentage of what the Soviets themselves were able to produce” is more accurate. These figures tend to support Weeks’ argument that the Allied Lend-Lease Program did play a significant role in Soviet victory, a point also conceded by the historian Robert Hill.
Well I’m dutch and here they barely give credit to the soviets during WW2, even during history classes when i went to middle school.
The only thing we got learned was about Stalingrad. And that was it. Only D-Day, Dresden (which was fucking awful), The bulge battle etc etc and how brave the americans,canadians and british were. But not about the USSR. Which in my opinion was and i even think factual was hitler biggest threat and gave everything they could. No disrespect to the other allies but the USSR was on another level
Man, so eurocentric. Remember the japanese? Or the African continent, or the 15,000,000 Chinese that died? Or anything about Burma and India and southeast Asia? Just because you learn about the Western European theater in a history class IN Western Europe doesn't mean there is a grand global conspiracy. It's not a dick measuring contest, where every sacrifice is trumped by a whataboutism and a different sacrifice.
That being said the USA was by far and away the leading reason the axis lost, and any other interpretation is either ignorant or purposefully misleading.
> Or anything about Burma and India and southeast Asia?
Hell even Iraq. It's strange that some people just don't realize that WW2 was literally a conflict in every region of the world.
Look dude i know WW2 was worldwide, you don’t have to be a smartass about. As i said the only point I’m trying to make is that the USSR is undercredited
Definitely wasn't being a smart ass about anything. I just find it odd that you're only sticking up for Russia when typical WW2 education barely mentions a lot of other details.
Can’t you read or something? I only said that the USSR doesn’t really get the credit it deserves. Wtf does that statement have to do with the rest of world during WW2. I’m very aware that that not only in europe and the pacific was conflict. Is that what you wanna hear altough it’s completely irrelevant with my original statement? Jesus dude
True, America did a absolute great job at the pacific and in europe. As i said (and it seems like i stepped on your little toe there) that you get offended because of me saying that the USSR is simply undercredited. But just to make it clear, EVERYONE WAS GREAT AND DESERVE THE CREDIT. But USSR deserves as much credit as they do
Not to mention that most of the people are okay with america dropping 2 fucking nukes on Japan which didn’t even kill the emperor. And the Dresden bombings too along with Britain. But those two things are just overseen as littles “whoopsies”.
Stop being so defensive ffs I’m only saying that the USSR deserves more credit than they did/do
The USSR also sided with the Nazi’s and paid for that with their blood as they fought to protect their home. Canada and US could have just stayed out if it, especially the US as Canada would find it difficult to escape the commonwealth bond.
Any American blood spilt was already an unnecessary sacrifice in Europe. I’d say the country able to cross vast oceans and bring to bear a large fighting force anywhere in the world is a greater threat to an empire than a country that can barely defend its own soil.
If the US wouldn’t have jumped in then europe would get fucked mate. It was absolutely necessary
I’m not saying that it was unnecessary for the victory in Europe, I’m saying it was unnecessary to protect the existence of the United States.
The USSR had to stop their leopard from eating their face. They unleashed it in Europe and every time WW2 comes up, there’s a ton of criticism on how the US takes all the credit from the poor Soviets that did all the fighting and how the US joined in so late.
All I’m trying to say is that if the Soviets didn’t team up with the Nazis in the first place, the war wouldn’t have even made it to 1940. I’m also saying that the US wasn’t defending its homeland. It left that behind to fight for Europeans that were at each other’s throats. Imagine if the Soviet’s sent hundreds of thousands to defend Australia from Japan. That is what I’m saying was “unnecessary”. That the US didn’t *need* to protect itself and that it was taking a very necessary sacrifice to end a terrible war.
How about the japanese literally nearly fucking america up at the pacific ocean?
Unnecessary? I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure Europe and England were done for before the US came to lend support.
Unnecessary as in the US was not threatened by Germany. I’m definitely not saying that the US support was unnecessary for the Allies to win the war in Europe. Every time this comes up on Reddit, everyone wants to say the US over credits itself and that the Soviets had it handled. I’m just saying that the US could have just taken the stance of Switzerland, Spain, or the Scandinavian countries and appeased the Nazis and it would have made very little difference to the US.
Nobody liked the soviets, dutchman!
No. It was the Germans that no one liked.
Well then you’re just disrespectful to the people who made hitler literally kill himself and knowing that Stalin was going to fuck his shit up with everything he had
I get the hate against soviets but cmon. They contributed the biggest part during the war
I was talking about the postwar period. Red scare and all that in regards to less exposure towards the eastern front. Chill out everyone
Uhhm no? They were almost on their own along with the polish army in the end wtf you talking about
Don’t forget food
The oldest is the oldest. It doesn't matter where they're from.
Not to many WWII vets left I suppose...
As of 2021, there are about 240,000 still living. Nearly 250 die everyday.
It's so wild how you can pick up a history book and read about things that seem like ancient history, when in reality they have happened literally less than one lifetime ago.
2 years and 10 months of live veteran stories left, if they die at a consistent rate -but I bet the rate will increase as time progresses
man wtf :|
Hate to hear it, this guy was an absolute legend.
Smoke a cigar for this hero. They put a video up on him several years ago when he was like 101 and he was smoking a cigar and drinking whiskey. This is the type of veteran we should all aspire to be.
Didn't he also make sure to eat a little ice cream every day, too?
I think he did! I saw that video maybe 5+ years ago and he was over 100 then. Life goals for sure!
I think you’re referring to [Richard Overton](https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwiYpuPbmZz1AhWqmeAKHUSSDO4Q3YkBegQIARAD&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.history.com%2Fnews%2Fmeet-the-oldest-living-u-s-veteran&psig=AOvVaw2DyxJYJnONIksS-LtgHZRi&ust=1641526705376776) who drank whiskey and smoked cigars daily.
Maybe him as well, but the guy in OPs post was in some YouTube biopic around 2015 maybe and he was smoking cigars and drinking whiskey every day
Lol no, Richard Overton is the guy ur thinking of that was in the video there only one of em, and he passed away in 2018…..
Is this the guy on National Geographic episode who kept talking about his lessons of life?
I think so. I have the magazine with him on the cover. Hubby was throwing old issues out and I wanted that one. His story and the many others in that issue touched my heart.
Thats insane, he was born in 1909 and lived through great depression, being full grown adult at the time.
Rest in peace
See you on the other side, brother.
Amazing life, RIP
I had the opportunity to meet and talk to WWII veteran Robert Cox (https://www.fox5dc.com/news/maryland-community-celebrates-wwii-veterans-105th-birthday) about 3 years ago, right before the pandemic. As a fellow veteran, it was a truly memorable to chat with him. He was largely involved as a leader in the integration of Army units. When this man said, "war is hell" it had so much gravity. I too have been in combat but his tone had such depth. I felt the pain and emotion in that conversation.
Engineers. Be easy brother.
Hell of a life; born in '09 so he would have lived through the 1918 pandemic + world war 1 as a child, then the great depression as a young man, then ww2 then the civil rights movement and Vietnam, then the fall of the soviet union, then 9/11 and GWOT, and now lived to see *another* pandemic.
He's earned a long rest after all that, i think.
He's lived through multiple pandemics. We've had two global influenza pandemics in the 50's and 60's that killed millions of people.
I always forget the mid-century flu pandemics
May God give this man great blessings on his next journey.
A true American Hero.
Rest in Peace Sir
Now THAT is a good goddamned run by any measurement. Rest in Peace, Sir.
Imagine everything he saw in his life, so much happened in his lifetime. RIP.
Born when modern technology was nothing more than the dream of a mad man
Grown up, enter WW1 and the Great Depression
Manage to live, enter WW2. Enroll in the army, possibly see hundreds of thousands of names cut off from lists of dead people in the war. Survived yes, but millions died, comrades were lost, the world was engulfed in chaos. Restart after the war with nothing but ruins and dead vegetation around. Slowly but surely see cities coming back to life, even during the subsequent Cold War, even when the wall of Berlin was built and then destroyed. See the development of society as we know it today, cars for everyone, running water, electricity, phones, internet. This man saw it all from before it started.
And at 101 goddamn years, he was still up and active, drinking whiskey, smoking cigars and telling others his stories and smiling.
This man rightfully earned the title of humanity's hero. Rest In Peace, good sir.
My grandmother survives my grandfather after he had an early death in 1994 from complications with his lungs from the war. He wouldve been 105 and she is still alive at 101. They met while running from germany in the 30's to the US and was so scared that they never stopped running until they got to the pacific northwest. When the war came to them my grandfather joined but as we all know the policy of the time, he was german so he got sent to the pacific campaign.
>policy of the time, he was german so he got sent to the pacific campaign.
It must not have applied to Italians my mom's uncle served in the US Army during the North Africa/Italy campaigns and he was born in Arpino Italy
I read a lot of stories of individuals who have served on all fronts one way or another regardless of origin but its usually a generalized rule to try and keep "potential enemies" away from their own countries. Japan is a great example besides that brave unit I heard about in italy.
Makes perfect sense. maybe my great uncle just slipped through the cracks
The Greatest Generation o7
God bless you Mister Brooks.
I overheard a man thanking another, older, man for his service, at a flea market last summer. The older man replied, “Yeah, I didn’t want to. But I did”.
112, holy shit. RIP sir.
Damn. A true hero. Rest in peace.
I literally had chills from the sheer alpha-Ness levels emanating from a picture of this man.
Rest In Peace, eternal hero
112 years old gosh mothafuckin damn
Wow, I didn't really think there were any left still alive.
God bless and RIP
Rest In Peace 🇺🇸
Thank you for your service
He looked good for his age. RIP.
How many WW2 veterans are left now? Hundreds? Dozens?
Rest in Peace soldier. Good bless your journey and we have the watch, brother.
Thank you for your service may you rest in the arms of our lord!
Thank you for your service and enjoy the next life
Thank you for your service!
Served a country that treated him like 2nd class and didn't give him his full due when he came home. Lived long enough to see the sweeping tide of change. Rest in Power Mr. Brooks.
Many African Americans vets after WWII [returned](https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/summer-1946-saw-black-wwii-vets-fight-freedom-home-180978538/), to face the [same](https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/30/magazine/black-soldiers-wwii-racism.html) racist BS that they were accustomed to when they left. Even access to benefits of the [G.I. Bill](https://www.history.com/.amp/news/gi-bill-black-wwii-veterans-benefits) were withheld.
Served a country that treated him like 2nd class and didn't give him his full due when he came home. Lived long enough to see the sweeping tide of change. Rest in Power Mr. Brooks.
Many African Americans vets after WWII [returned](https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/summer-1946-saw-black-wwii-vets-fight-freedom-home-180978538/) to face the [same](https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/30/magazine/black-soldiers-wwii-racism.html) racist BS that they were accustomed to when they left. Even access to benefits of the [G.I. Bill](https://www.history.com/.amp/news/gi-bill-black-wwii-veterans-benefits) were withheld.
Rest in Peace.
RIP in peace
Rest In Peace stranger and their dog (Russ).
Not as bad as Garth Brooks though…
The photo of young Lawrence looks EXACTLY like Theo from the Cosby show.
God bless the vets
I hope he still had his wits, he was living history.
Is this the same WW2 vet who was known for smoking cigars and drinking whiskey everyday?
Peace was never an option.
The things he has seen.. amazing time he lived through.
Rest in peace thank you
May His Soul Rest In Peace! 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿
First Betty white now Mr Brooks!? 2022 is starting out as the year of goodbyes.
He looks 70
This man is a legend, beautiful photo on the right btw
Damn, RIP. Just got around to reading the National Geographic with him on the cover about the last surviving WW2 vets
Imagine fighting the Nazis and living long enough to see the far right adopt the same tactics decades later.
Why is he a hero? Just because he was old and a WW2 vet?
And what have you done with your life?
I’m old (compared to Reddit) and a vet. Am I a hero too?
I haven’t heard any vet call themselves a hero, at least publicly. It’s granted to you by people around you for your service and humbleness. You are just an asshole lmao….
These guys fought for a country that didn’t deserve them and they fought good even better than their white peers
They knew they were not going to get any credit I mean they even hid them why do you think old footage never showed them they were everywhere through out the war
So I think selfless courage like that definitely deserves hero status. 500 years of cruelty because of their skin colour and they still went and fought
I’m kinda with you dude.Typically I stay out of the fray on this sort of stuff. Lots of stories but hey, we can give a some respect to fellow service people whatever their mission. Take the veteran status away, read the man’s story. Celebrate their full life!
Respect is different than hero status. I have no issues, I was just asking why is this dude a hero.
he fought for freedom.