And Then There Was One

| April 23, 2023


Sad news – one of the two remaining USS Arizona survivors from the Pearl Harbor attack, Ken Potts, died Friday at the age of 102.  His death leaves only one remaining survivor, Lou Conter, 101, who lives in California.

Howard Kenton Potts died Friday at the home in Provo, Utah, that he shared with his wife of 66 years, according to Randy Stratton, whose late father, Donald Stratton, was Potts’ Arizona shipmate and close friend.

Stratton said Potts “had all his marbles” but lately was having a hard time getting out of bed. When Stratton spoke to Potts on his birthday, April 15, he was happy to have made it to 102.

“But he knew that his body was kind of shutting down on him, and he was just hoping that he could get better but (it) turned out not,” Stratton said.

He was working as a crane operator shuttling supplies to the Arizona the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, when the Pearl Harbor attack happened, according to a 2021 article by the Utah National Guard.

Several dozen Arizona survivors have had their ashes interred on the sunken battleship so they could join their shipmates, but Potts didn’t want that, according to Stratton.

“He said he got off once, he’s not going to go back on board again,” he said.

Stratton said many Arizona survivors shared a similar dry sense of humor. That included his own father, who was severely burned in the attack and also did not want to return to the ship as ashes in an urn.

“‘I’ve been cremated once. I’m not going to be cremated twice,’” Donald Stratton joked, according to the younger Stratton, before his death in 2020 at age 97.

Potts is survived by his wife, Doris. Information on other survivors was not immediately available.


Category: Navy, We Remember, WWII

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RGR 4-78

Rest in Peace.


Very slow salute.


I can understand why Mr. Potts would like to remain inUtah. Best wishes Ken and smooth sailing.


Godspeed, Fare Well, and Rest Easy, Good Sir. We’ve got the watch.

We won’t be too much longer before the very last of them are gone.



Anna Puma

Fair winds to you.


Rest in peace Sir. God be with your family.

Last edited 7 months ago by Sparks
President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

Just an hour down the road from where I live.
Interesting the interesting people you find near you after they die.
How I’d like to go.
A long and active life, healthy up to the end, then a quick collapse. No lingering.
RIP, good sir.

Skivvy Stacker

And when Mr Conter joins the ship’s compliment, they will all man the rails, Officers and Enlisted together, and set sail out of Pearl Harbor, to an Ocean none of us has crossed, but hope to one day. They’ll be bound for a far land where Peace will be theirs forever, and they will never again have to worry about bombs, guns, fires, and their ship sinking below them. When that day comes I will mourn the passing of them all…
But I will also rejoice in the fact that such men lived, and that I lived among them. I will rejoice that they are no longer confined to this poor mote of dust that floats in space, and will be able to sail to seas on far flung places that we don’t even know exist.
The USS Arizona only awaits that last man. She is trimmed and ready to go. It will be full speed ahead, “First star on the right, and on ’til morning…”

Old tanker

RIP Sir, thank you for our freedom. May your reunion with shipmates and family be joyous.


Fair Winds, Dear Sir.