110-Year-Old Veteran: “A Positive Attitude Makes Me Feel Good”

Richard Overton celebrated his 107th birthday last week and will continue the celebration with a trip to Washington D.C. this weekend as part of the Honor Flight, a collection of World War II Veterans, who are recognized each year for their contribution to America. Overton lives in a small frame house in East Austin and often sits on his porch. RALPH BARRERA / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

(photo courtesy of freedom congress)

Richard Overton, the world’s oldest living World War II veteran, has seen a lot over the years. And we’re not just talking about the war. He’s been able to meet Presidents, see the world change technology over and over again and will live to see even more: he just turned 110 years old.

Overton was born May 11, 1906, and lives in the same home he purchased after his service in World War II. Overton, who was born in Bastrop County in 1906, served in the Pacific Theater from 1942 to 1945 as part of the all-black 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion. After the war, he returned to Austin, and he has lived in the same home ever since.

When asked how it feels to be 110, Overton simply replies, “I feel good. I feel like I’m 50.”

When new neighbors move in, he tells them about the history of the neighborhood, telling some that their homes used to be horse stables and others, who have trouble with stubborn onions growing in their yards, that the spot where their homes sit used to be someone’s garden.