**FILE** Richard Overton stands as President Barack Obama acknowledges him as America's oldest living World War II veteran during a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Nov. 11, 2013. (Staff Sgt. Sean K. Harper/Army News Service)
**FILE** Richard Overton stands as President Barack Obama acknowledges him as America's oldest living World War II veteran during a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on Nov. 11, 2013. (Staff Sgt. Sean K. Harper/Army News Service)

Richard Overton, the nation’s oldest man and oldest World War II veteran, died Thursday afternoon. He was 112.

Overton’s death was confirmed to CNN by his family, who said he had been hospitalized with pneumonia.

Overton, who volunteered for the Army in 1942, was part of the 188th Aviation Engineer Battalion, an all-Black unit that served on various islands in the Pacific.

“He was there at Pearl Harbor when the battleships were still smoldering. He was there at Okinawa. He was there at Iwo Jima, where he said. ‘I only got out of there by the grace of God,’” former President Barack Obama said while honoring Overton at a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in 2013.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement Thursday in honor of Overton, calling the longtime Austin resident “an American icon and a Texas legend.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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