Pearl Harbor veteran Donald Stratton dies at 97

Ruben Hill
February 18, 2020

Donald Stratton, a U.S. Navy veteran who survived the attack on the USS Arizona during Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, died Saturday at his home in Colorado Springs at 97.

Stratton was one of the last three living survivors from the Pearl Harbor attack that led the United States into World War II. More than 1,100 crew members died on the battleship.

Stratton was among the 334 crew members who survived the battleship sinking. The USS Arizona was the first ship he joined, the statement from the National Memorial said.

"He crawled hand over hand, high above the water to safety, being burned over 70% of his body", the National Park Service wrote in its Facebook post.

Ever determined to serve his country, the statement said, Stratton reenlisted in 1944, served out the war and was discharged, once again, in December of 1946 at the rank of Gunners Mate Second Class.

Stratton attended many annual Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremonies and was the author of the bestselling book "All the Gallant Men".

Stratton was with his wife of almost 70 years and his son when he "passed away peacefully in his sleep" in Colorado Springs, Colorado, according to his public Facebook page and KTLA sister station KDVR in Denver. "He didn't want or seek the attention he received".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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