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Oldest female veteran dies at 109
Scripps Howard News Service


March 28, 2007
Wednesday AM

The last surviving American female veteran of World War I and the oldest woman military veteran died Tuesday.

Charlotte Winters, 109, died at a nursing home in the Boonsboro, Md., area, according to her niece.



Her death leaves alive just five other known American vets from the "war to end all wars."

At a time when American women were not permitted to vote, Winters served as a "Yeomanette" in the World War I Naval Reserve. Women were not given the right to vote until 1920.

One of more than 11,000 such women stateside, she worked in a gun factory and as a secretary. None were allowed to remain in the military after the war ended.

Winters was an 80-year member of the American Legion and one of 20 enlisted Naval Reserve women who founded one of the first Legion posts in the country, in Washington, D.C.

"She could vote for post officer before she could vote as a U.S. citizen," said Legion spokeswoman Ramona Joyce.

To honor her, the Legion is arranging for the Navy to provide full military honors for Winters' funeral, a private ceremony scheduled for Friday near Frederick, Md.

When 2007 began, 10 U.S. World War I veterans were alive. Since then, five have died, including Winters.

Those remaining are:

- Lloyd Brown, 106, of Bethesda, Md., who enlisted in the Navy.

- Frank Buckles, 105, of Charles Town, W.Va., who lied about his age to join the Army.

- Russell Coffey, 108, of North Baltimore, Ohio, who enlisted in the Army.

- Harry Richard Landis, 107, of Tampa, Fla., who served in the Army.

- John Babcock, 106, a native Canadian who served with Canadian forces but lives now in Spokane, Wash.


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