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Military Matters; Yuma remembers Pearl Harbor Survivor

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Hatch from USS Arizona

Former Yuma who survived attack on Pearl Harbor dies at 97

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY). Former Yuman Donald Stratton served during one of the worst attacks in American history. He was just 19, when Japanese forces attacked the naval fleet in Hawaii. After the attack that sank the U.S.S Arizona, Stratton spent a year recovering after receiving third-degree burns over 70% of his body. After he was released from the hospital he reenlisted and fought during World War II.

Since then Stratton became an author and wrote a book about his experience called "All the Gallant Men". In 2017, Stratton along with other Pearl Harbor survivors visited the White House and met with President Donald J. Trump. They asked the president to give the Bronze Star of Valor to Sailor Joe George who he credits saved his life during the attack.

On February 15, 2020 Donald Stratton died at the age of 97; news of his death spread to every news network in the country. Stratton was one of three survivors left from the sinking of the U.S.S Arizona. On February 26, 2020 his niece Carolyn Rubenacher was a guest of honor at a special ceremony at the American Legion Post 19 in Yuma. The ceremony was set in front of a deck hatch from the U.S.S Arizona brought to Yuma by Donald Stratton. Members from the American Legion played taps along with members of the U.S. Navy who gave Stratton a three-volley salute where each member fired three shots into the air.

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Joe Teposte

Award-Winning Photojournalist, News Professional Trainer, Production, Writer, 20+ Years in Yuma News.


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