Gloster “Buck” Buchanan, on his birthday June 6, 2019, the World War II veteran still has a very sharp memory.
Gloster “Buck” Buchanan was born in Hazlehurst, Georgia, Jeff Davis County on June 6, 1916. He grew up in a very large family with 22 siblings. Their family history can be traced back to the 1800s. His father had an older brother named Jim and an older sister named Fanny. They were freed from slavery in 1865 when the United States passed the Thirteenth Amendment. Since his Uncle Jim was the oldest of the three, he took on the responsibility of selecting their last name; making them the Buchanan family. Buck said his grandmother lived to be 123 years old. In 1933, Mr. “Buck” Buchanan arrived in St. Simons Island, Georgia that many wouldn’t recognize today.
“Buck” Buchanan was able to contribute to the nation during World War II. He was drafted into the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1943. He trained at Fort Benning near Columbus, Georgia then he was shipped to Sheffield, Texas Air Forces Technical Training Command to become Army Air Forces Training Command on July 31,1943. He stayed there a while before transferring to Luke Airfield Base (AFB) near Phoenix, Arizona. Luke AFB is one of the largest bases in the world. Buck said, “When I worked in the Medical Department, I set bones, arms and legs.” Adding that he made $20 a month while in the Service. After serving a total of three years and nine months, Buck Buchanan returned to St. Simons Island, Georgia. Back at home, he took up a trade in Brick Masonry. He laid bricks for 35 years before retiring. Some buildings he helped construct is still standing today. “Buck” Buchanan received a 32nd Degree Mason June 13, 1952, Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret 32 of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Life Membership of 30 years of Continuous Membership in August 2007. Additionally, “Buck” Buchanan was a Member of Omar Temple No. 21, Cornerstone Lodge No. 8, and American Legion Post 166, where he was honored last May 2016 for 60 years of continuous service. Buck enjoyed serving as a 32nd Degree Mason Prince Hall Affiliated and is the oldest Mason living in the state of Georgia at the age 103. (Prince Hall Affiliated)
Buck” Buchanan enjoyed fishing and tending to his tree farm. He owned five acres of land planted with various trees, e.g., tangerines, navel oranges, pears and different types of figs. Looking out of the window of Buck’s bedroom, you can see the fig trees full of green figs. Back in the good days, after a hard day of work in his garden, Buck would retreat to one of his favorite fishing holes. He had discovered several on the island. Buck Buchanan remained active for many years in the community. He would store meats from hunting in his freezer and at home to give to those who were in need. When he isn’t hunting, gardening, or fishing, he enjoys spending time with his family. Earlier this year, Buck’s wife Celia Buchanan, passed away back in March 2019. They were married for 78 years, and June 15 would have been 79 years. Both were members of Saint Paul Baptist Church on Saint Simons Island, Georgia. They have a daughter, three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Mr. “Buck” Buchanan has uncovered the mystery of living a full life well into his golden years. He believes it has a lot to do with his dedication to living by the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” “Do the right thing and God will store up a blessing for you and give you a long, good life,” says Mr. Gloster “Buck” Buchanan, 103.