One of the last surviving veterans from the USS Arizona, a ship that was sunk during the attack on Pearl Harbor, was finally reunited with his fallen shipmates after passing away last year. Retired Master Chief Perry Officer Raymond Haerry, 94, was laid to rest inside the ship alongside, taking his place along with those who didn’t escape that fateful day.
Over 100 people attended the internment ceremony; a symbolic military funeral reserved only for shipmates who survived the attack on December 7, 1941.
Haerry’s urn was placed near turret #3, a section of the ship believed to be the final resting place of many who died during the attack. His remains were escorted by a team of US Navy and National Park Services divers and placed within what is left of the military vessel.
Daniel Martinez, the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument chief historian, said, “Raymond Haerry, even in the last days of his life, decided he was going home, going home to the USS Arizona.”
The urn containing Haerry’s remains was handed to the dive team by his granddaughter, Jessica Marino. She stated, “This is the first time that I was thinking I’m also saying goodbye at the same time, “ continuing, “It was sad, but it was also a really nice moment too.”
As reported by KITV, Haerry was only 19-years-old at the time of the attack. He was thrown from the ship by a blast that occurred when oil hemorrhaging out of the ship ignited, causing a large explosion. Describing the event, Martinez said, “[Haerry] had to swim through that, got to Ford Island, got some medical care and somehow got a gun and fired back at the enemy and survived that day.”
Haerry is the 42nd survivor of the USS Arizona that has since rejoined his shipmates. 1,177 men lost their lives during the attack. Out of the original 335 survivors, only five are still alive today.
Many of the survivors were known to have fought in the war after the attack, just as Haerry had. Martinex said, “[The survivors] wanted to meet together at the reunions and finally, to be together. And Raymond Haerry has done that; he has returned to his ship and his shipmates.”