A WWII veteran has been killed by coronavirus over a century after his twin brother was killed by the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic. Phillip Kahn, from Nassau County in New York, died on April 17 more than a century after his twin sibling Samuel was killed by the last great pandemic weeks after the brothers’ December 1919 birth. Philip Kahn is the oldest veteran in Nassau County, New York, according to his family, and had been fearful of another pandemic happening in his lifetime. "It was something he brought up quite frequently," Zysman said, his grandson. "I would have conversations with him, he would say to me, 'I told you history repeats itself, 100 years is not that long of a period of time." Kahn and his twin brother, Samuel, were born on December 5, 1919. His brother died a week later.
Kahn was a sergeant in the US Army Air Force during WWII, Zysman said, and acted as an engineer and co-pilot, keeping war planes fueled. Kahn enlisted in the US Army Air Corps pilot training program in 1940 and went on to fight at the Battle of Iwo Jima and helped with aerial surveys after atomic bombings of Japan. He received two Bronze Battle Stars for his service in WWII, his grandson said. After the war, Khan worked as an electrical foreman to help build the World Trade Center. Philip Kahn with his late wife, Rose Kahn, and two of their great grandchildren.
An American flag marks the spot where Khan was buried at New Montefiore Cemetery. Between 1918 and 1919, the outbreak spread rapidly across the world, and killed 50 million and 100million people within 15 months.