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Last Pearl Harbor Survivor Passes Away
PowderRiverCowboy posted a topic in SASS Wire SaloonPearl Harbor survivor Jack Holder Passes Away at 101 . Local Hawaiian's have long said the oil will leak from the USS Arizona until the last survivor dies . RIP Sir Jack Holder, a Pearl Harbor survivor who went on become a decorated World War II flyer who flew over 100 missions in the Pacific and European theaters, has died in Arizona. He was 101. Darlene Tryon, a close friend and the executor of Holder’s estate, said he died at Friday at a hospital in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler. The Pearl Harbor National Memorial also announced the death. Born to a farming family in Gunter, Texas, Holder joined the Navy in 1940 when he was 18. He was on duty at Ford Island within Oahu’s Pearl Harbor when Japanese aircraft bombed the U.S. naval base on Dec. 7, 1941. “The first bomb that fell on Pearl Harbor was about 100 yards from me,” Holder said, adding that he “saw guys swimming through burning oil in the water.” Holder recalled diving into a ditch to avoid gunfire Hunkered down behind a fortress of sandbags, “I wondered if this was the day I would die,” Holder told the Arizona Republic in a 2016 interview. “That morning I watched as Japanese dive bombers devastated Pearl Harbor. I knew that we would no longer sit on the sidelines of the war ravaging Europe.” Holder said he spent three harrowing days manning a makeshift machine gun pit, a ditch lined with sandbags, in the aftermath of the attack. About 2,400 servicemen were killed in the Pearl Harbor attack, which launched the U.S. into World War II. The USS Arizona alone lost 1,177 sailors and Marines, nearly half the death toll. Holder went on to fight in the Battle of Midway and flew missions over Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands before being transferred to England and flying missions along the French coast and the English Channel. The Pearl Harbor National Memorial said Holder was awarded two distinguished flying cross medals, six air medals, a presidential citation and six commendation medals in his Navy career before being honorably discharged in 1948. EDIT : The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs doesn’t have statistics for how many Pearl Harbor survivors are still living. So may not be the last but some reports are saying that he is . https://www.militarytimes.com/veterans/2023/03/01/pearl-harbor-survivor-jack-holder-dies-in-arizona-at-age-101/