10 Oldest Living World War II Veterans

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World War II lasted from 1939 to 1945. During that time, millions of men and women from around the world enlisted in their country’s military and unfortunately, an estimated 50 to 80 million people did not survive. Being a World War II veteran is a distinguished honor and everyone on this list has continually been celebrated for their service.
As of February 2021 this list is as accurate as possible and will be updated as needed.

10. Josip Kršul (December 10, 1911 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 109 years, 2 months, 5 days

Country of Origin: Selce, Croatia (but moved to the United States as a young man)
Military Branch: U.S. Army
Previous Occupation(s): Waiter, dish washer, and telegraphist

Josip Kršulphoto source: Slobodna Dalmacija

Josip Kršul is currently the oldest living person in Croatia, but he is an American World War II veteran. After he was unable to find work in his hometown after high school, Kršul decided to move to America. Kršul arrived in Galveston, Texas not long after World War II started, and he enlisted in the United States Army. During the War, Kršul participated in the Battle of Iwo Jima.

When World War II ended, Kršul moved to California, where he worked with Western Union for several decades. Kršul had also obtained his American citizenship. He stayed in the United States until 2011, when he moved back home to Selce, Croatia. Kršul is currently living with his nephew, the son of his sister who lived to be 102.

Did You Know?

After living in the United States for most of his adult life, Josip Kršul ended up moving back into the house he was born in, in his hometown of Selce, Croatia.


9. Robert Marchand (November 26, 1911 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 109 years, 2 months, 20 days
Country of Origin: Amiens, Hauts-de-France, France
Military Branch: Unspecified
Previous Occupation(s): Professional Cyclist and various odd jobs

Robert Marchandphoto source: USA Today

Robert Marchand, who turned 109 near the end of 2020, is the only person on this list well-known for his life outside of being one of the oldest World War II veterans in the world. Until very recently, Marchand was a professional cyclists and set a Guinness World Record in 2017 as the oldest competitive cyclist at the age of 105.

Not much is known about Marchand’s time in the French military during World War II, but he was a prisoner-of-war. After the War, Marchand spent time in Venezuela doing odd jobs. He later moved to Canada where he became a gardener and wine dealer. Marchand had been into cycling his entire life, but as a young man he was told by his coach that he would never make it professionally. Over the years, Marchand would return to the sport, and eventually set several records in his old age.

Did You Know?

Robert Marchand is a member of the French Communist Party and CGT Trade Union, the longest-serving member still living, with 90 years of membership.


8. Tom Lumby (c. November 7, 1911 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): c. 109 years, 3 months, 8 days
Country of Origin: Harris, Saskatchewan, Canada
Military Branch: Canadian Armed Forces (unspecified which branch)
Previous Occupation(s): Head of HR for Canadian National Railway (CN)

Tom Lumbyphoto source: Ottawa Citizen

Tom Lumby is an unverified supercentenarian and is the only veteran on this list who has not been personally interviewed by his local news. However, Lumby’s story came to light on November 7, 2020, sometime around his 109th birthday, after his friends and family spoke to local news. Lumby is one of the oldest living people in Canada and is believed to be the country’s oldest World War II veteran.

Lumby became a tank commander with the Lord Elgin Regiment during World War II. After the War ended, Lumby worked with so-called Allied Control Commission that ran post-war Germany. When he returned home to Canada, Lumby joined Canadian National Railway (CN) and headed an early human resources department.

Did You Know?

Tom Lumby has numerous hobbies that keep him active, including reading, gardening, painting photography, ham radios, and tinkering with things.


7. Ronald Hermanns (September 25, 1911 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 109 years, 4 months, 21 days
Country of Origin: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (but has lived in New Zealand since he was a child)
Military Branch: Royal New Zealand Air Force
Previous Occupation(s): Aircraft Engineer

Ronald Hermannsphoto source: Otago Daily Times

Ronald Hermanns is currently the oldest War World II veteran from New Zealand as well as the country’s oldest living person at the age of 109. Although Hermanns was born in Canada, his family moved to New Zealand when he was a toddler and Hermanns has remained in the country since then.

As a young man, Hermanns became an engineering apprentice and fell in love with aircraft. Hermanns enlisted in the Territorial Air Force in 1937 and two years later when World War II was declared, he joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force. Today, Hermanns still lives independently, but has carers who stop by and check in on him. Other than some hearing loss and eye degeneration, Hermanns is very healthy.

Did You Know?

According to Ronald Hermanns he was only the 19th person to join the Royal New Zealand Air Force, which was only a few years old by the time World War II started.


6. Pat Corbin (March 17, 1911 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 109 years, 10 months, 29 days
Country of Origin: Jersey, Channel Islands, UK
Military Branch: Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), part of the British Army
Previous Occupation(s): Unspecified

Pat Corbinphoto source: tomorrowscare.co.uk

Pat Corbin, a native of the Channel Islands, is currently 109 and will be celebrating her 110th birthday on St. Patrick’s Day. Corbin’s given name is actually Elsie, but her family has always called her Pat because of her birthday. Pat joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), the women’s branch of the British Army during World War II. By the end of the War, Corbin had achieved the rank of lieutenant.

Corbin got married to her late-husband John in the 1940s, and the couple traveled the world together before he passed away in 1970. Some of the places the Corbins visited were South Africa and Canada. Currently, Corbin is the oldest resident across RMBI (Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution) Care Co.’s system.

Did You Know?

After World War II and the Channel Islands were liberated from German control, Pat Corbin and her brother were reunited with their parents who they hadn’t seen for six years. Corbin’s father had been imprisoned for having a crystal radio hidden at his home.


5. Ezra Hill (December 19, 1910 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 110 years, 1 month, 24 days
Country of Origin: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Military Branch: U.S. Army
Previous Occupation(s): Baseball player and shoe store owner

Ezra Hillphoto source: The Baltimore Sun

Ezra Hill, who turned 110 a few months ago, has lived an interesting life and has tried his hand at many different career paths. As a young man, Hill played center field in the Negro Baseball League. A few years later, Hill’s mother lent him $50 to open a shoe store after friend told him, “There are enough doctors and lawyers. You should sell shoes.” Hill ended up opening a successful shoe store that he named Avalon. The business lasted until the 1990s when Hill decided to retire.

During World War II, Hill enlisted in the Army and found himself on the Queen Mary sailing to England. Hill did have a brush with death while serving in France, when a military truck weighing six tons mistakenly ran over him. Luckily, Hill ended only ended up with a back injury. Hill lived independently with his wife until he turned 100, before deciding to move in with his daughter – Hill’s wife is also still alive and the couple has been married for 80 years.

Did You Know?

Since Ezra Hill’s shoe store was located in Baltimore, during the Civil Rights era, many prominent figures such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Muhammad Ali stopped into his store.


4. Julia Kabance (August 10, 1910 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 110 years, 6 months, 2 days
Country of Origin: Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation, Jackson County, Kansas, USA
Military Branch: Women’s Army Corps
Previous Occupation(s): Various jobs with the U.S. Military

Julia Kabancephoto source: wibw.com

At 110 years of age, Julia Kabance is the oldest living female American World War II veteran and the second oldest American vet after Lawrence Brooks. Kabance is also the oldest member of the the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and one of the few remaining Native American veterans from World War II.

Kabance joined the U.S. Army on 17 March 1943, and became part of the Women’s Army Corps. She remained in the Army for 33 months, serving as a clerical worker. After the War, Kabance moved home to take care of her elderly mother until she passed away. Kabance then worked for the Air Force in Topeka, Kansas until the base closed. She went on to work in accounting for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before retiring in 1972.

Did You Know?

In November 2019, Julia Kabance became the first Native American to receive the Distinguished Citizen Medal from the Daughters of the American Revolution.


3. Margaret Reed (April 20, 1910 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 110 years, 9 months, 23 days
Country of Origin: Loughgilly, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, UK
Military Branch: Royal Air Force
Previous Occupation(s): Farmer and gardener

Margaret Reedphoto source: The Irish World

Margaret Reed is just a few months shy of her 111th birthday and is currently the oldest living person born in Ireland. Since 2015, Reed has been living in a care home in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, England.

Reed was part of the Royal Air Force at Farnborough, where she served in a secret establishment during World War II. After she got married, Reed moved to Cornwall, England, where she and her husband owned a farm. Reed used to grow primroses that would be sent to the London Flower Markets to sell.

Did You Know?

In December 2020, Margaret Reed became one of the oldest people in the world to receive the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.


2. Lawrence Brooks (September 12, 1909 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 111 years, 5 months
Country of Origin: Norwood, Louisiana, USA
Military Branch: United States Army
Previous Occupation(s): Fork lift operator and several odd jobs

Lawrence Brooksphoto source: nola.com

 

Lawrence Brooks is currently the oldest living American World War II veteran at over 111 years old.  After Odile Washington passed away over the summer of 2020, Brooks became the oldest living person in Louisiana.

Brooks received his draft notice when he was 31 years old and ended up joining the U.S. Army. He served in the predominantly African-American 91st Engineer Battalion which was stationed in New Guinea and then the Philippines during World War II. After the war, Brooks worked as a fork lift operator until he retired at 70.

Did You Know?

By the end of Lawrence Brooks’ military service, he achieved the rank of Private 1st Class.


1. Mollie Walker (February 5, 1909 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 112 years, 7 days
Country of Origin: Cadoxton, Glamorgan, Wales, UK
Military Branch: Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS)
Previous Occupation(s): Peppard Parish Council Worker

Mollie Walkerphoto source: peppardnews.co.uk

Mollie Walker just celebrated her 112th birthday, making her the oldest living World War II veteran in the world. Walker is the second-oldest living person who was born in Wales, after Lilian Priest. Currently, Walker lives in Kingwood, Oxfordshire, England.

During World War II Walker was apart of the Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS) and helped out at Kingwood Camp, a hospital for German troops, guarded and run by the Americans. As the War continued, Walker was involved with the Food Flying Squad whose convoys of trucks took food and water to disaster areas. Following World War II, Walker worked with the Peppard Parish Council. Walker was also Secretary of the local Conservative Association and a founder member of the Friends of Kingwood.

Did You Know?

Mollie Walker loved cars and driving and continued to drive until she was 103. She often taught other people how to drive.


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