William Brown, Nevada’s oldest veteran, died on Oct. 12 from natural causes. He was 109.
Born in 1894, Brown served in the U.S. Expeditionary Force in France during World War I. Because he was black, Brown was not allowed to fight beside white soldiers. Instead, for more than a year, he acted as cannon fodder, counting shell holes and keeping roads clear with the artillery division. After his discharge, Brown moved to California and spent two decades working as a short-haul driver for the Pacific Trucking Co.
Hours after his death, Brown’s niece picked up his U.S. Presidential Citation in honor of his longevity and military service. In 2001, he also received a Legion of Honor from the French government.