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NEWS | April 24, 2024

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Honors Last USS Arizona Survivor

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command

HONOLULU — U.S. Indo-Pacific Command service members and Pearl Harbor National Park Service employees attended the memorial ceremony in honor of the last survivor from USS Arizona, Louis Al. (Lou) Conter, on April 23, 2024. The ceremony was held at the same time as his burial service in Green Valley, California, where he was laid to rest next to his late wife of 45 years, Valerie. He passed away April 1, 2024, at the age of 102.
Born on Sep. 13, 1921, Conter served more than 27 years in the U.S. Navy, first enlisting in 1939 and later becoming a pilot, flying missions during the Korean War and retiring as a lieutenant commander. He attended Pearl Harbor events when possible and devoted much of his life to preserving the memory of the 2,403 Americans killed and 1,178 wounded during the attack.

He emphasized vigilance and the importance of readiness throughout his career, including his role as the first Naval officer to attend the Army’s Special Operations School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and in the establishment of the Navy’s first SERE (survival, evasion, resistance, and escape) courses in Maine and California, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command.

His service to our nation and bravery in the face of tremendous peril reminds us that the strength of our military comes from the selfless service of those wearing the uniform, and we are committed to continuing his legacy as we defend peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.