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OLDEST-KNOWN WAR VETERAN IN THE U.S. SUCCUMBS AT 105

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George E. Echols, who fought in France during World War I and was the nation's oldest-known war veteran, is dead at the age of 105, the Department of Veterans Affairs says.

The department said Echols died last Thursday at the VA Medical Center here after a brief illness.Echols' passing means that the oldest known American war veteran is now Nathan E. Cook, 104, who is also the only known living veteran of the Spanish-American War era, the VA said.

Cook now lives at the Carl Hayden VA Nursing Home in Phoenix, Ariz.