Last Living USS Arizona Survivor Of Pearl Harbor Attack Passes Away At 102

FAN Editor
U.S.S. Arizona survivor Lou Conter looks on near the Arizona Remembrance Wall during a memorial service marking the 74th Anniversary of the attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor December 07, 2015 on the island of Oahu at the Kilo Pier, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, killing thousands and launching the U.S. into WWII. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
5:43 PM – Monday, April 1, 2024

According to his relatives who spoke with the press, the heroic 102-year-old last remaining survivor of the USS Arizona battleship, which was sunk during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, passed away on Monday.

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Lou Conter was a lieutenant commander in the Navy following the attack. At the age of 20, Conter was present when hundreds of Japanese aircrafts launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, sinking the Arizona along with three other battleships.

It launched the United States into war with Japan and is believed to have killed 2,400 people, of whom 1,200 died on the Arizona coast alone.

In the company of his loved ones, Conter passed away from heart failure at his Grass Valley, California, home, according to The Associated Press. The U.S.S. Arizona Memorial honored him for leading a “long and distinguished life.”

On December 7th, 1941, just before eight in the morning, Conter—who was working as a quartermaster aboard the Arizona—was on deck when Japanese aircrafts attacked the harbor.

“Guys were running out of the fire and trying to jump over the sides,” Conter stated in an interview. “Oil all over the sea was burning.”

The Arizona wreckage on Pearl Harbor’s bottom contains more than 900 sailor remains, and only 335 sailors made it out alive.

Conter went to Naval Flight School after the attack on Pearl Harbor and flew a PBY Catalina, a seaplane bomber used to hunt out submarines. He completed more than 200 missions while flying night raids with a squadron known as the “Black Cats.”

In 1943, Conter was shot down close to New Guinea. However, the crew was subsequently saved by a nearby aircraft that dropped a lifeboat.

Later, in preparation for being shot down as one of the Navy’s first SERE officers (survival, evasion, resistance, and escape), he taught sailors survival in the jungle and other tactics.

After 28 years of service, he retired from the Navy in 1967.

“I’m glad he’s at peace. I’m glad he didn’t suffer. I know when he transitioned over, he had so many people there waiting for him—his wife Val, who he loved dearly,” said his daughter, Louann Daley.

Ron Fudge and Tony Conter, his two sons, and his daughter Louann continue to commemorate him after his passing.

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