USS Arizona survivor
USS Arizona survivor

USS Arizona survivor

USS Arizona survivor, Joe Langdell, one of the crew members of USS Arizona that was destroyed by Japanese bombers at Pearl Harbor in 1941, died at the age of 100. Langdell was one of the 334 who survived the Pearl Harbor bombing, which prompted the United States of America to join World War II. The destroyed USS Arizona sank into the bottom of the sea, taking with it 1, 177 navy men.

Langdell has just started his stint at the navy when USS Arizona where he was assigned was bombed. An accountant by profession, it was his math skills that saved him from going down with the ship that fateful night of December 6, 1941. Because Langdell was good in math, his job was to help the photographers of the navy make improvements on the accuracy of the guns. On the night the Japanese attacked the US navy ships in Pearl Harbor, he was at Ford Island working with navy photographers. However, he rushed to the bombing site to help save his fellow navy men.

During World War II, Langdell continued to serve the navy. When he retired, he settled with his wife and family at Yuba City in Northern California, running a furniture business. When one of his sons joined the navy and was posted in Hawaii, Langdell came over to visit him and while there, he went to the site where USS Arizona sank. When he returned to Northern California, he led the USS Arizona Reunion Association and was the president and coordinator for many years.

Langdell died in a nursing home a few days after his 100th birthday. Until his death, he took pride in wearing his navy cap because he said it showed that he was a survivor and it represented USS Arizona. His body was laid to rest at the sunken USS Arizona along with those who perished in the bombing and the survivors who died ahead of him chose after a memorial service in Yuba City.

 

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