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US's oldest war vet and oldest man dies at 112

Richard Overton has died aged 112 (Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Richard Overton has died aged 112 (Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

By Paul J Weber

The oldest American veteran of the Second World War has died aged 112.

Richard Overton, who was also believed to be the oldest living man in the US, passed away in Texas.

He was in his 30s when he volunteered for the army and was at Pearl Harbour just after the Japanese attack in 1941.

Mr Overton once said the secret to his long life was smoking cigars and drinking whiskey, which he often was found doing on the porch of his Austin home.

While he was recently hospitalised with pneumonia, he was released on Christmas Eve, said Shirley Overton, whose husband was Richard's cousin and his longtime caretaker.

"With his quick wit and kind spirit, he touched the lives of so many, and I am deeply honoured to have known him," Texas Governor Greg Abbott said, calling Mr Overton "an American icon and Texas legend".

"Richard Overton made us proud to be Texans and proud to be Americans," he added.

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