Veteran Who Survived USS Arizona Attack at Pearl Harbor Dies at 92
One of the last remaining veterans who survived the USS Arizona attack at Pearl Harbor has died.
Clarendon “Clare” Hetrick passed away last week in Las Vegas, Fox 25 reported. He was 92 years old.
Hetrick was surrounded by family at the time of his passing.
According to a statement from The Greatest Generations Foundation, the veteran was one of the last of seven remaining USS Arizona survivors.
He was scheduled to reunite with his shipmates this December for the 75th anniversary of the tragic attacks.
“I just talked to him the day before,” said Randy Stratton, the son of another Arizona survivor, Don Stratton.
“He was so excited about all the things that we had planned in our schedule and what was going on, and he just couldn’t wait to get out there.”
Hetrick, an 18-year-old mess cook at the time of the 1941 attack, was shaving when the strikes began on Pearl Harbor, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.
“When an aerial bomb struck the ship, setting off a massive chain-reaction explosion, Hetrick headed up a ladder, pushing a stuck sailor through in the process, and jumped over the side.
‘If I had been almost anywhere else (on the ship), I wouldn’t be here,’ he said on a visit to Hawaii in 2006. ‘I didn’t get so much as a scratch.’”