Retired Master Chief Petty Officer Raymond Haerry, 94, passed away this week. The Pearl Harbor survivor was laid to rest inside the USS Arizona, the ship he escaped during the infamous attack. Following his wishes, Master Chief Haerry went home to join his shipmates. “Raymond Haerry, even in the last days of his life, decided he was going home, going home to the USS Arizona,” said Daniel Martinez, chief historian at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.
Haerry was a Boatswain’s Mate during the attack at Pearl Harbor. An explosion threw him from the ship into the water which was covered in a layer of burning oil. Somehow Haerry managed to swim through the flames to shore, found a weapon, and began firing at the enemy.
Over 100 people attended Haerry’s symbolic military funeral service, which is only offered to survivors of the attack. Haerry is the 42nd survivor to be laid to rest inside the hull of the USS Arizona. His urn was delivered to turret #3 by a team of U.S. Navy and National Park Service divers. This is the final resting place of several of his ship mates. Of the 355 men who survived the sinking of the USS Arizona, only 5 are alive today.