One of 3 USS Arizona survivors from Pearl Harbor attack dies

Colorado Springs, Colorado — One of the remaining USS Arizona crew members who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor has died.

Donald Stratton died at his Colorado Springs home in his sleep Saturday.

His family said in a post on his Facebook page that he was surrounded by love to the end, passing away peacefully with his wife of 69 years and his son beside him, reports CBS Colorado Springs affiliate KKTV.

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A plaque of young Stratton and Stratton in his later years, which was on display during a Dec. 7, 2018 ceremony to remember the attack. KKTV

The 97-year-old veteran had been in poor health since contracting pneumonia in October.

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“He was a very humble, very quiet hero,” said his son, Randy Stratton. “He didn’t want or seek the attention he received.”

Stratton was one of the survivors of the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese aerial attack on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor on Oahu, Hawaii. More than 1,100 crew members died on the battleship.

Nearly 2,500 Americans died as a result of the Pearl Harbor attack, which prompted America’s entry into World War II.

KKTV says Stratton was a 19-year-old seaman first class when the Arizona was hit. A bomb detonated in an ammunition storage area directly below Stratton’s battle station. Stratton managed to pull himself through the flames to safety, suffering burns to more than two-thirds of his body.

“One of Donald’s final wishes was that people remember Pearl Harbor and the men aboard the USS Arizona. Share their story and never forget those who gave all for our great country,” a post on Stratton’s Facebook page said.

Following Stratton’s death, Lou Conter and Ken Potts are the last living members of the Arizona’s crew.

Stratton attended many of the annual Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremonies and was the author of the bestselling book, “All the Gallant Men.”

Source: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/donald-stratton-one-of-3-remaining-uss-arizona-survivors-from-pearl-harbor-attack-dies-at-97/

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