One of the last survivors who served on the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941 was interred with his fallen shipmates aboard the sunken USS Arizona.
Raymond Haerry was a 19-year-old serving on the USS Arizona the day imperial Japan struck Pearl Harbor. The Arizona would infamously go down during the fight, along with 1,177 of Haerry’s shipmates.
Haerry’s son, Raymond Haerry, Jr., explained what that December day was like for his father:
Haerry was trying to get ammunition when a large bomb detonated, igniting fuel and powder magazines, Haerry Jr. told The Associated Press in October. Most of the bow was instantly separated and the ship was lifted out of the water.
Haerry Jr. said his father swam through flaming waters, sweeping his arms in front of him to push the flames away. He shot at Japanese planes from shore. Later, he helped retrieve corpses from the harbor.
Haerry, by choice, never returned to Pearl Harbor despite remaining in the Navy for 25 years and retiring at the rank of Master Chief.
“That brotherhood doesn’t go away and as he got closer to the end of life, it resonated with him,” Marino [Haerry’s granddaughter] said. “He didn’t want to see the site or relive that disaster, but he wanted to relive that camaraderie.”
Haerry is the 42nd survivor to be interred with his mates, something only those serving on the Arizona that day are allowed to do. There are five remaining survivors of the ship’s crew.