Monday, November 12, 2012


Sunday was Veterans Day and sadly remembered without any surviving members of The Great War. The world's last WWI veteran was Florence Green of Great Britain who passed on February 4, 2012, fifteen days shy of 111.  Frank Woodruff Buckles, the last surviving American veteran of World War I, died on February 27, 2011.  Frank was 110 years old and was identified by the US Senate as, "The last veteran to represent the extraordinary legacy of the World War I veterans".  The passing of Buckles and Green prompted a farewell for not just one man or woman, rather a whole generation, and, indeed, those millions of Allied soldiers who paid for our freedom with their lives.  Buckles was buried with full military honors in Arlington Cemetery in a ceremony presided by President Barack Obama who along with many other dignitaries who came to salute Buckles and his now departed generation.

Another one of those WWI soldiers was my Grandfather, Colonel G. Edward “Ned” Buxton, Jr. who as Commander of the 2nd Battalion, 328th Infantry Regiment, of the 82nd Division saw service in key battles in World War I including the Battle of Saint-Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.  He was an over the top commander who to the chagrin of General Pershing carried (and used) an American Enfield rifle and served from the trenches like peers Patton and Donovan earning a Purple Heart for his exploits.   Buxton went on to serve with distinction as the Inspector-General of the 82nd Division until he was returned to action as a commander and combatant in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive - the crowning American contribution to WWI that ultimately brought about the Armistice of November 11, 1918.  Many know Buxton (then a Major) as the commanding officer of one Alvin C. York who with Buxton as a “Dutch Uncle” and counselor served with distinction in that conflict. They remained Friends thereafter for life. For the record, we are assured that York carried a Springfield Model 1903 rifle and a Model 1911 .45 caliber APC semi-automatic pistol.

In World War II Buxton was appointed First Assistant Director of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and as the OSS Planning Group and Action Director of Strategic Services, was a key figure in all policy as well as operational decisions.  He was tasked with the handling of the procedural and operational aspects of running the OSS and frequently served as Acting Director.  Buxton’s life was dedicated to service from start to finish.  He was an extraordinary leader and soldier-citizen who reflected the best of our greatness and character and the values of our society.

We have many to thank for their service and ultimate sacrifice - those from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and all those conflicts before, in-between and after.  For those who kept the peace and by their service protected our borders and Citizens from harm’s way and for those members of our Armed services who participated in operations we know and many that we do not – we remember and thank you.

In our Family we sincerely thank Brothers David and John, Uncles Richmond and Seabury and all those who came before including Grandfather Buxton all the way back to Capt. James Buxton of the First Massachusetts and Revolutionary War fame. We recognize and salute all their comrades in arms.  We remember a loving Grandfather Alden Llewellyn Littlefield who distributed replicas of the original red Flander's poppy in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in order to raise awareness and monies for Veterans. We say well done...


Ned Buxton

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