CHARLOTTE HALL, Maryland – Lloyd Brown, the last known U.S. Navy veteran to fight in World War I, has died. He was 105.
Brown died Thursday at the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home in Maryland, according to family and the U.S. Naval District in Washington.
His death comes days after the death of the last known surviving American female World War I veteran, Charlotte L. Winters, 109. Their 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.
The fourth of nine children, Brown was born Oct. 7, 1901, in Lutie, Missouri, a small farming town in the Ozark Mountains. In 1918, 16-year-old 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. They were making the headlines, the boys that enlisted," Brown told the (Baltimore) Sun in a 2005 interview. "And all the girls liked someone in uniform."
Brown finished his tour of duty in 1919, took a break for a couple of years, then re-enlisted. He learned to play the cello at musicians school at Norfolk, Virginia, and was assigned to an admiral's 10-piece chamber orchestra aboard the USS Seattle.
When Brown ended his military career in 1925, he joined the Washington Fire Department's Engine Company 16, which served the White House and embassies.