- by cnn
- 22 Sep 2023
Ken Potts, one of the last two survivors of the USS Arizona battleship, which sank during the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, has died. He was 102.
Potts was born and raised in Honey Bend, Illinois. He enlisted in the US navy in 1939. On 7 December 1941, he was working as a crane operator shuttling supplies to the Arizona when the Pearl Harbor attack happened, according to a 2021 article by the Utah national guard.
In a 2020 oral history interview with the American Veterans Center, Potts said a loudspeaker ordered sailors back to their ships.
Dozens of ships sank, capsized or were damaged in the attack on the Hawaii naval base, which catapulted the US into the second world war. Potts and his fellow sailors pulled others to safety.
The Arizona sank nine minutes after being bombed, its 1,177 dead accounting for nearly half the servicemen killed in the attack. The battleship still sits where it sank, with more than 900 dead interred inside.
Potts recalled decades later that some people were still giving orders in the midst of the attack but there was also chaos.
Stratton noted that the only survivor from the Arizona is now Lou Conter, who is 101 and living in California.
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