Lou Conter, the final residing survivor on board the USS Arizona throughout the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor in 1941, has died. He was 102. Conter died Monday morning whereas surrounded by household in Grass Valley, California, his daughter confirmed to sister station KCRA. He had been in hospice for the previous 4 weeks. His household stated funeral preparations are being made, and there might be a ceremony with full navy honors. Last yr, Conter shared his story and recollections concerning the assault on Pearl Harbor.Conter was solely 18 when he enlisted within the United States Navy. The Germans had simply invaded Poland, and struggle was on the horizon.”I stated, ‘OK, I’ll enroll,’ so I signed up for 4 years, and I used to be going to depart at 5:45 that night time,” Conter stated from his house in Grass Valley.After boot camp, the Denver native was assigned to the USS Arizona.”March of 1940, the fleet went north of Hawaii for workouts,” he stated.The fleet ended up docking at Pearl Harbor. The Arizona was one in all 100 ships anchored to the piers. Conter labored as a quartermaster. He was at his submit on a heat December morning in 1941.”It was 5 minutes to eight, and the primary airplane got here throughout,” Conter stated.What occurred subsequent is one thing he and America vividly bear in mind greater than 80 years later.”As quickly as they got here in, we knew what was taking place,” Conter stated. “We knew for six months we have been coaching arduous for preventing the Japanese at struggle. They have been dive bombing, and so they have been proper down the ship’s edge. We did not have time to lookup and see what was coming. They have been already proper down on the water’s edge. It lasted for about 40 minutes. We took a 50-60-hundred-pound bomb alongside the quantity two turret. It went by way of 5 decks within the ahead decrease dealing with room and blew the facility up there for the primary and quantity two turret, and the entire bow got here up out of the water.”Thick black smoke rapidly stuffed the Oahu sky. The bombs simply stored falling.“Guys have been popping out of the fireplace, and we have been simply grabbing them and laying them down,” Conter stated. “They have been actual unhealthy. You would choose them up by the our bodies, and the pores and skin would come off your arms.” The Japanese planes have been concentrating on battleships just like the Arizona.”We began preventing the fireplace, and we fought the fireplace till Tuesday,” Conter stated.Twenty-one ships have been sunk or considerably broken and a couple of,400 Americans have been killed, with one other 1,100 wounded.”There was no time to do something,” Conter stated. “It occurred so quick.”In the wake of Pearl Harbor, Conter was despatched to take a crash course in flight faculty. Just months later, he was piloting his personal airplane. Conter was chosen to fly with the Black Cats, the nation’s first model of stealth bombers. They would function beneath the duvet of darkness. “We’d exit at 5:30 at night time and did not are available till 8:30 the subsequent morning,” he stated. “We had no markings on us. We would do our dive bombers at 1,000 toes.”The missions proved harmful.”The first time we acquired shot down was September ’43,” Conter stated.Off the coast of New Guinea, a number of Black Cats splashed down within the waters off the coast. Commanding officers weren’t positive in the event that they’d reside. Conter says the sailors huddled collectively and fought off sharks earlier than attending to the seashore.Conter would survive. He’d survive the ocean and the sharks. He’d survive being stranded in enemy territory for days. He’d survive World War II and the Korean War. He served 28 years earlier than his retirement in 1967 as a lieutenant commander. “We have been simply fortunate,” Conter stated. “I had a sister who was a nun for 70 years. She died when she was 91, and I all the time advised her she prayed sufficient to save lots of my life.”In April 2023, the nation misplaced 102-year-old Ken Potts. With Potts’ demise, Conter turned the final residing survivor on board the USS Arizona. Conter had hoped to make one final journey to Hawaii in December however determined he did not have the energy to take action. “They name loads of us heroes, and I’ve all the time stated we aren’t the heroes,” Conter had advised KCRA 3. “Heroes are those proper there that day that misplaced their lives. They gave every thing up. We acquired again to the States. We acquired married. We had youngsters and grandkids. We are nonetheless right here. They have been misplaced endlessly proper then and there.”KCRA 3’s Daniel Macht contributed to this story.

Lou Conter, the final residing survivor on board the USS Arizona throughout the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor in 1941, has died. He was 102.

Conter died Monday morning whereas surrounded by household in Grass Valley, California, his daughter confirmed to sister station KCRA.

He had been in hospice for the previous 4 weeks.

His household stated funeral preparations are being made, and there might be a ceremony with full navy honors.

Last yr, Conter shared his story and recollections concerning the assault on Pearl Harbor.

Conter was solely 18 when he enlisted within the United States Navy. The Germans had simply invaded Poland, and struggle was on the horizon.

“I stated, ‘OK, I’ll enroll,’ so I signed up for 4 years, and I used to be going to depart at 5:45 that night time,” Conter stated from his house in Grass Valley.

After boot camp, the Denver native was assigned to the USS Arizona.

“March of 1940, the fleet went north of Hawaii for workouts,” he stated.

The fleet ended up docking at Pearl Harbor. The Arizona was one in all 100 ships anchored to the piers. Conter labored as a quartermaster. He was at his submit on a heat December morning in 1941.

“It was 5 minutes to eight, and the primary airplane got here throughout,” Conter stated.

What occurred subsequent is one thing he and America vividly bear in mind greater than 80 years later.

“As quickly as they got here in, we knew what was taking place,” Conter stated. “We knew for six months we have been coaching arduous for preventing the Japanese at struggle. They have been dive bombing, and so they have been proper down the ship’s edge. We did not have time to lookup and see what was coming. They have been already proper down on the water’s edge. It lasted for about 40 minutes. We took a 50-60-hundred-pound bomb alongside the quantity two turret. It went by way of 5 decks within the ahead decrease dealing with room and blew the facility up there for the primary and quantity two turret, and the entire bow got here up out of the water.”

Thick black smoke rapidly stuffed the Oahu sky. The bombs simply stored falling.

“Guys have been popping out of the fireplace, and we have been simply grabbing them and laying them down,” Conter stated. “They have been actual unhealthy. You would choose them up by the our bodies, and the pores and skin would come off your arms.”

The Japanese planes have been concentrating on battleships just like the Arizona.

“We began preventing the fireplace, and we fought the fireplace till Tuesday,” Conter stated.

Twenty-one ships have been sunk or considerably broken and a couple of,400 Americans have been killed, with one other 1,100 wounded.

“There was no time to do something,” Conter stated. “It occurred so quick.”

In the wake of Pearl Harbor, Conter was despatched to take a crash course in flight faculty. Just months later, he was piloting his personal airplane. Conter was chosen to fly with the Black Cats, the nation’s first model of stealth bombers. They would function beneath the duvet of darkness.

“We’d exit at 5:30 at night time and did not are available till 8:30 the subsequent morning,” he stated. “We had no markings on us. We would do our dive bombers at 1,000 toes.”

The missions proved harmful.

“The first time we acquired shot down was September ’43,” Conter stated.

Off the coast of New Guinea, a number of Black Cats splashed down within the waters off the coast. Commanding officers weren’t positive in the event that they’d reside. Conter says the sailors huddled collectively and fought off sharks earlier than attending to the seashore.

Conter would survive. He’d survive the ocean and the sharks. He’d survive being stranded in enemy territory for days. He’d survive World War II and the Korean War. He served 28 years earlier than his retirement in 1967 as a lieutenant commander.

“We have been simply fortunate,” Conter stated. “I had a sister who was a nun for 70 years. She died when she was 91, and I all the time advised her she prayed sufficient to save lots of my life.”

In April 2023, the nation misplaced 102-year-old Ken Potts. With Potts’ demise, Conter turned the final residing survivor on board the USS Arizona.

Lou Conter

Conter had hoped to make one final journey to Hawaii in December however determined he did not have the energy to take action.

“They name loads of us heroes, and I’ve all the time stated we aren’t the heroes,” Conter had advised KCRA 3. “Heroes are those proper there that day that misplaced their lives. They gave every thing up. We acquired again to the States. We acquired married. We had youngsters and grandkids. We are nonetheless right here. They have been misplaced endlessly proper then and there.”

KCRA 3’s Daniel Macht contributed to this story.