Don Stratton, one of just three remaining crew members who escaped a burning USS Arizona by making a harrowing hand-over-hand climb across a rope to an adjacent ship on Dec. 7, 1941, died Saturday, leaving just two living survivors of the famed battleship.
Daniel Martinez, chief historian for the memorial, said, “God bless him and his beloved family. My hero is gone but will always be in my heart. He is now part of our national memory.”
An Arizona crew that once numbered 1,512 is now down to two. Survivors Lou Conter and Ken Potts are both still alive at the age of 98.
The Colorado Springs native was 97.
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