One Of Pearl Harbor’s Last Remaining Survivors Dies At The Age Of 102

Screenshot/Instagram/Public -- user: quarantine_chats_with_gramps

Samuel Spencer Contributor
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One of Pearl Harbor’s last remaining survivors passed away Tuesday at the age of 102.

Richard Clyde Higgins, who was stationed as a radioman that fateful day the Japanese launched a surprise bombing attack on Pearl Harbor, died in his granddaughter’s home of natural causes, according to The New York Times.

Higgins was born July 24, 1921, on a farm in Oklahoma. In 1939, he joined the Navy.

Higgins’s granddaughter, Angela Norton, recollected her grandfather’s legacy.

“He never thought that he was a hero; the heroes were those who didn’t come home,” she said, The New York Times reported. “But he wanted to make sure their stories continue to be told, and we remember what an incredible country we live in and what sacrifices they made for us to have our freedoms.”

Nearly 20 ships, about 300 planes and over 2,400 Americans perished the day Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan.

On that day, Dec. 7, 1941, Higgins awoke to the sound of bombs raining down from above, The New York Times reported. In an interview in 2008, he remembers running out to his porch, to see planes with “red meatballs” on them, indicating the Japanese flag.

America declared war on Japan the very next day.

“I was moving planes away from ones that were on fire, because when the tanks exploded, they threw burning gas on the others,” Higgins said in a video posted on Instagram in 2020. (RELATED: WWII-Era Bomb Washes Up On Popular US Beach)

Higgins outlived the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, according to a video from an Instagram account called “quarantine_chats_with_gramps.”

A few years after the attack, in 1944, Higgins married Winnie Ruth while he was stationed in Florida. She passed away in 2004 at the age of 82. Higgins had a son and a daughter, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.