Dorothy Cole, Oldest US Marine Veteran, Dies Aged 107

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 17 Jan 2021 16:46
Dorothy Cole, Oldest Living Marine, Dies Aged 107Kannapolis/Twitter

Dorothy Cole, the oldest US marine veteran, has passed away at the age of 107, her daughter has confirmed.

Cole, who was affectionately known as Dot to family and friends, decided to support her country by joining the forces in December 1941, when Japanese air forces attacked Pearl Harbour naval base in Hawaii.


Then, in 1943, at the age of 28, Cole became one of the first women to ever join the Marine Corp’s Women’s Reserve.

‘There were women volunteering with the Red Cross and knitting while sitting in church, so I thought I had to do something,’ Cole told the Marine Corps Times in September last year.

‘At the time, I didn’t think I was doing anything great. I knew I was helping our country,’ she said.


According to Cole’s daughter Beth Kluttz, she had been inspired by Amelia Earhart and had dreams to taking flying lessons to become a pilot.

‘She thought she would impress the military by taking flying lessons. She had about 200 flying hours in, and flying a Piper Cub, and she thought that would impress the military and the Marine Corps,’ Kluttz told CNN.

‘But when she got in there, they just put her behind the desk,’ she added.


Sadly, Cole passed away over the weekend after suffering a heart attack at her home in North Carolina, and tributes have been pouring in for the veteran ever since.

‘Our deepest condolences to the family of U.S. Marine Sergeant Dorothy Cole. A Kannapolis resident, Dorothy (Dot), passed away last week. At 107 years old, she was the oldest living U.S. Marine. Semper Fidelis,’ read a tweet from the official Twitter account for the city of Kannapolis.

Dorothy Cole, Oldest Living Marine, Dies Aged 107Kannapolis/Twitter

The US Marines official Twitter account wrote:


Fair Winds and Following Seas.

Join us in saying goodbye to Sgt. Dorothy (Schmidt) Cole who passed away last week as the oldest living Marine.

Rest in peace, Dot.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: Life


CNN and 1 other
  1. CNN

    The oldest living Marine, a North Carolina woman, has died at age 107

  2. Marine Corp Times

    Oldest living Marine veteran turns 107