World War II 105-year-old Veteran

D-Day Veteran Talks
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 10:47 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - 105-year-old Oscar Buchanan is one of the few World War two veterans left.

The Chipley man served during the war from 1942 to 1945.

“Yeah, you’re afraid because you don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Oscar Buchanan, a WWII veteran.

He was just 23 when the war ended. While Buchanan didn’t fight on foreign soil, he was still a vital part of the war.

He was in the national guard before he was activated into the Army and sent to Alaska.

“To protect the islands because they {the enemy} were getting into the U.S. because the U.S. was the next step, they took all the islands up to the right up to the Aleutian islands the next one would have been the mainland the U.S.,” said Buchanan.

While allied troops were storming the beaches in Normandy, Buchanan was protecting the homeland from invasion...

He was a construction engineer in Alaska.

“Lengthening and widening the airport so the bombers could come in cause Fort Richardson {Alaska} doesn’t have small bombers small planes,” said Buchanan.

Buchanan says they would also survey the land since it was bought from Russia.

“My crew surveyed the road and I’d come up plot it out and sent it to Washington and they’d add it,” said Buchanan.

He says the only thing his unit had to worry about was surveying and getting the information.

However, their work helped keep the enemy from targeting the U.S. mainland. After 3 years he was able to return home.

“When it slacked up then our work slacked up,” said Buchanan.

The battle for Normandy was hard fought and even though Buchanan never served overseas, he still felt the sting of those lost and the joy of victory when the war was over.