Special Report

The Oldest Living Veterans of WWII

Franz Wielander
> Born: 1914
> Age as of Feb. 13: 109 years, 23 days
> Home country: Austria

Austrian centenarian Franz Wielander, the oldest man in Austria, joined the German Army in 1941 following the annexation of his country by the Nazi regime in 1938. Wielander was captured by Soviet forces on the Eastern Front during World War II and held in a prisoner of war camp in Siberia until he was released in 1947. He was married to his wife, Hermine, for 77 years until she died at age 98 in 2017.

Morrie Markoff
> Born: 1914
> Age as of Feb. 13: 109 years, 33 days
> Home country: United States

Morrie Markoff, son of a Russian immigrant, grew up in a tenement in New York City, survived the Spanish flu, withstood the Great Depression, and served as a military machinist during World War II. His biography describes him as the oldest known living blogger in the United States. Markoff was married to his wife, Betty, for 81 years and they lived in Los Angeles until her death at age 103 in 2019.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Huang Decheng
> Born: 1913
> Age as of Feb. 13: 109 years, 91 days
> Home country: Taiwan

When Huang Decheng was born Taiwan, it was part of the Japanese Empire. During World War II, he served Japan’s imperial army and was stationed in the Philippines. Later in life he became a neighborhood chef in Taiwan. He reportedly was still walking a kilometer at age 100 to purchase vegetables.

Joe Dixon
> Born: 1913
> Age as of Feb. 13: 109 years, 135 days
> Home country: Great Britain

Besides being Great Britain’s oldest World War II vet – he served in RAF Bomber Command during the war – Joe Dixon holds the distinction of being his nation’s, and probably the world’s, oldest retired firefighter. Dixon formerly served with the Newcastle City Police Fire Service before retiring in 1964.

IIie Ciocan
> Born: 1913
> Age as of Feb. 13: 109 years, 261 days
> Home country: Romania

Life was always hard for IIie Ciocan. By the time he was 12 he was an orphan. To survive, he worked as a cowherd in his native Romania before serving in that country’s army during World War II. Romania was allied with Germany and took part in the invasion of the Soviet Union. Ciocan, who was married at 19, has outlived three of his six children and his wife.

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