Final survivor of USS Arizona after Pearl Harbor attack dies at 102

Conter was a 20-year-old quartermaster who helped rescue fellow crewmen during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the morning of Dec. 7, 1941. A total of 1,177 fellow Arizona crew members were killed that day, most of them still entombed on the ship with their names etched on the USS Arizona Memorial, according to the statement.

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Aircraft perform "Tora, Tora, Tora" to simulate Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during the airshow at Ellington Airport, Houston, Texas, the United States, on Oct. 14, 2023. (Photo by Chen Chen/Xinhua)

Lou Conter, the final survivor of the USS Arizona, the battleship that was sunk during the World War II attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, died on Monday at the age of 102.

Conter died at his home Monday morning in Grass Valley in U.S. state of California, said Pacific Historic Parks, a leading non-profit organization that supports the USS Arizona Memorial and other Pacific historic locations, in a statement.

Conter’s daughter Louann Daley said the World War II veteran was surrounded by family and passed peacefully, the statement added.

Conter was a 20-year-old quartermaster who helped rescue fellow crewmen during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the morning of Dec. 7, 1941. A total of 1,177 fellow Arizona crew members were killed that day, most of them still entombed on the ship with their names etched on the USS Arizona Memorial, according to the statement.

The veteran was among the 335 Arizona crew members to survive the Pearl Harbor attack, and he outlived all of them, said the statement.

Conter’s military service continued after the Pearl Harbor attack, and he went on to become a VP-11 Black Cat pilot. He survived two shoot-downs in World War II, including one off the coast of New Guinea in which the crew was surrounded by sharks.

Aileen Utterdyke, president and CEO of Pacific Historic Parks, noted in the statement that “This is a heartbreaking loss.”

Utterdyke pointed out that Conter had an exemplary career in the U.S. Navy and was steadfast in imploring the schools, parents and everyday Americans to always remember Pearl Harbor.

Xinhua News Agency

Founded in 1931, Xinhua News Agency is one of the largest news organizations in the world, with over 10,000 employees across the globe. As the main source of news and information for China, Xinhua plays a key role in shaping the country's media landscape and communicating its perspectives to the world. The agency produces a wide range of content, including text news articles, photos, videos, and social media posts, in both Chinese and English, and its reports are widely used by media organizations around the world. Xinhua also operates several international bureaus, including in key capitals like Washington, D.C., Moscow, and London, to provide in-depth coverage of global events.

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