USS Arizona Sailor Louis Conter Dies At 102

(Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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The last remaining sailor from the USS Arizona, a battleship that was sunk during the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, died at the age of 102.

Louis Conter “peacefully” died in his Californian home Monday “surrounded by family,” said Louann Daley, the aged veteran’s daughter, according to a Facebook post by Pacific Historic Parks – USS Arizona Memorial. (RELATED: One Of Pearl Harbor’s Last Remaining Survivors Dies At The Age Of 102)

Conter was among the 1177 sailors of the USS Arizona on that day of infamy in 1941, serving as quartermaster. Only 335 survived the surprise Japanese attack.

Conter gave an oral history interview of his time in the service, including his personal account of the Pearl Harbor attack, to the Library of Congress back in 2008. He recalled that one explosion by a Japanese bomb lifted the doomed battleship 30- to 40-feet out of the water and that much of the ship was on fire.

“Guys were running out of the fire and trying to jump over the sides,” Conter recalled. “Oil all over the sea was burning.”

Conter’s military service did not end with Pearl Harbor. The navy-man became a VP-11 Black Cat pilot and survived a couple of shoot downs in World War II, the USS Arizona Memorial Facebook post reads. Conter later served in the Korean War as an intelligence officer, was the founder of the first SERE program (survival, evasion, resistance and escape) in the NAVY and a military adviser to President Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.

“They call a lot of us heroes, and I’ve always said we are not the heroes,” Conter told KCRA 3 in an interview back in 2023. “Heroes are the ones right there that day that lost their lives. They gave everything up. We got back to the States. We got married. We had kids and grandkids. We are still here. They were lost forever right then and there.”

Conter had been in hospice care in the last four weeks of his life, the outlet reported.