One of the few remaining vets who survived the attack on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor has died

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (Dec. 7, 2006) - Seaman 1st Class Clare Hetrick awaits the start of the joint U.S. Navy/National Park Service ceremony commemorating the 65th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Hetrick was 18 years old and stationed aboard USS Arizona at the time of the attack. More than 1,500 Pearl Harbor Survivors, their families and friends from around the nation joined more than 2,000 distinguished guests and the general public for the annual observance. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist David Rush (RELEASED)

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The U.S. has lost another veteran of the attack on Pearl Harbor. USS Arizona survivor Clarendon “Clare” Hetrick died last week in Las Vegas, surrounded by family.

The 92-year-old was one of seven remaining USS Arizona survivors. He was looking forward to reuniting with his shipmates later this year as the nation marks the 75th anniversary of the attack.

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“I just talked to him the day before and 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,” Randy Stratton, the son of another Arizona survivor, Don Stratton, told Stars and Stripes.

An 18-year-old mess cook, Hetrick was shaving when the attack on Pearl Harbor began. He ran to his battle station in his underwear. When a bomb hit the ship, Hetrick climbed a ladder, managed to help a stuck sailor, and then jumped over the side of the ship.

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“If I had been almost anywhere else (on the ship), I wouldn’t be here,” he said in 2006. “I didn’t get so much as a scratch.”

The family plans to have Hetrick’s ashes interred with fellow shipmates at the Arizona site in Hawaii.

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