Lloyd Brown, 105; firefighter, last known WWI Navy veteran
CHARLOTTE HALL, Md. -- Lloyd Brown, the last known surviving World War I Navy veteran, has died. He was 105.
Mr. Brown died Thursday at the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in St. Mary's County, according to family and the US Naval District in Washington.
He died days after the death of the last known surviving American female World War I veteran, Charlotte L. Winters, 109.
The deaths leave three known survivors who served in the Army and a fourth who lives in Washington state but served in the Canadian Army, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Mr. Brown was born Oct. 7, 1901, in Lutie, Mo., a small farming town in the Ozarks. His family later moved to Chadwick, Mo.
In 1918, 16-year-old Mr. Brown lied about his age to join the Navy and was soon on the gun crew on the battleship USS New Hampshire.
"All the young men were going in the service," Mr. Brown told The [Baltimore] Sun in a 2005 interview. "They were making the headlines, the boys that enlisted. And all the girls liked someone in uniform."
Mr. Brown finished his tour of duty in 1919, took a break for a couple of years, then reenlisted. He learned to play the cello at a musicians school in Norfolk, Va., and was assigned to an admiral's 10-piece chamber orchestra aboard the USS Seattle.
When Mr. Brown ended his Navy career in 1925, he joined the Washington Fire Department's Engine Company 16, which served the White House and embassies.
He married twice and had a son and daughter from one marriage and two daughters from the other.
Even after reaching 100, Mr. Brown remained independent, living alone in his Charlotte Hall bungalow and driving a golf cart around his neighborhood.