Last USS Arizona survivor of Pearl Harbor attack dies at 102
LOS ANGELES: (Reuters) U.S. Navy veteran Louis Conter, the last surviving crew member from the battleship USS Arizona, which was destroyed by Japanese warplanes in the attack on Pearl Harbor more than eight decades ago, has died at age 102.

Conter, who flew bombing missions as a Navy pilot after Pearl Harbor, succumbed to congestive heart failure on Monday at his home in Grass Valley, California, in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada, his daughter Louann Daley said.

Conter was a young sailor standing watch on the quarterdeck of the Arizona when Japanese bombers swarmed the skies over the Hawaiian island of Oahu and attacked the U.S. Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7. 1941.

Within minutes that Sunday morning, the Arizona itself had exploded in flames, smoke and pandemonium. Conter, then a quartermaster third-class, was among the fortunate few hundred men to get off the battleship alive as it crumpled and sank at its berth, taking 1,177 of its 1,400-member crew to their deaths.

Decades later, he recounted how the enormous blast from a dive bomb, which apparently penetrated the exterior of the Arizona to ignite stores of gunpowder below decks, lifted the battleship “30 to 40 feet out of the water.”