Last survivor of bombed warship Pearl Harbor dies at age 102 | Abroad

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The last survivor of the USS Arizona, the warship that sank during the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, has died at the age of 102. This was reported by an association in memory of the victims of the attack. The ex-soldier died at home in California on Monday, surrounded by his family.

Lou Counter was a 20-year-old petty officer on the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the American Pacific Fleet.

The bombing, which prompted the U.S. to enter World War II, damaged or destroyed most of the U.S. fleet stationed in Hawaii. More than 2,000 Americans were killed in the attack. More than 1,100 people were killed aboard the USS Arizona.

Decades later he told how the bomb’s tremendous impact lifted the enormous warship 30 to 40 feet out of the water. “Men ran from the fire and tried to jump over the railing. Oil was on fire everywhere in the sea,” Conter said during an interview in 2008.

After he managed to leave the burning ship, Conter helped recover the bodies and fight the fire, which continued to rage for three days.

read more below the photo:

A photo of Lou Conter as a young non-commissioned officer. On the left a drawing of the bombed USS Arizona. © AP

Pilot and presidential military advisor

Conter, who helped soldiers during the attack, became a Navy pilot during World War II. His plane was shot down twice. This happened once off the coast of Papua New Guinea, where he and his crew ended up in a sea full of sharks.

He later also flew combat missions in Korea and established a survival training program within the Navy. During his later career, Conter served as a military advisor to Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

“Lou Conter epitomized what it means to be part of the greatest generation of Americans, whose collective courage, achievements and sacrifices saved our country from tyranny,” said Aileen Utterdyke, executive director of Pacific Historic Parks, an association dedicated to his memory. the victims of the attack. “He had an exemplary career in the Navy and has consistently urged schools, parents and everyday Americans to never forget Pearl Harbor.”

Lou Conter waves on his 99th birthday in 2020. © AP

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