Lou Conter, Last Survivor of USS Arizona from Pearl Harbor Attack, Dies at 102

Of the U.S. Navy warships lost or damaged during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the hardest hit was by far the USS Arizona, which was struck by four armor-piercing bombs. One of those bombs blew up the ship’s magazine, causing an explosion which sank the Pennsylvania-class battleship and killed 1,177 sailors and Marines, hundreds of whom are still entombed there to this day.

Among the survivors of the explosion was 20-year-old Lou Conter, a quartermaster who was standing on the Arizona’s quarterdeck at 7:55 a.m. when the first wave of 138 Japanese airplanes launched their surprise assault. Conter not only survived the explosion of the ship’s magazine, but he survived the attack on Pearl Harbor and the rest of World War II.

Conter died of congestive heart failure more than eight decades later on April 1, 2024, at his home in Grass Valley, California, at age 102.
Pearl Harbor by Casey Horner is licensed under Unsplash unsplash.com

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