Pearl Harbor Survivor from USS Arizona Dies at 100

February 11, 2015

Pearl Harbor Survivor from USS Arizona Dies at 100

Pearl Harbor survivor retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Langdell at the age of 100. The U.S. Navy veteran served as a crew member on the USS Arizona. Before he passed away, Langdell was the oldest living crew member of the battleship to have survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

The USS Arizona lost 1,177 men when it was bombed during the Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7, 1941. On the day of the attack, Langdell's assignment had him off of the battleship. During and after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was rescuing fellow sailors from the burning water, getting ready for another air assault and in charge of a group of Pearl Harbor survivors who were removing the remains of the dead.

"I felt absolutely helpless as I watched the attack," Langdell told The Associated Press on the 56th anniversary of the attack that drew the United States into World War II. "If I had been aboard, I would have been killed in that No. 2 (gun) turret. That was the one that blew up. It was my luck to be assigned off the ship that day."

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Langdell's son said that when he was young, the Navy veteran didn't speak about Pearl Harbor. He also never visited the site of the attack until 1976. Once he did visit, Langdell enjoyed speaking with other USS Arizona survivors and survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack.

According to the USS Arizona Reunion Association, there are now 8 living survivors from the USS Arizona.

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