CARMICHAEL (CBS13) — A local World War II veteran has passed away. Lonnie Cook was one of the last of the USS Arizona’s surviving crew after Japanese forces bombed Pearl Harbor.
Cook passed away Wednesday morning. CBS13 met the then 98-year-old in December, as he talked about that fateful day on its anniversary.
The then 19-year-old Navy Seaman was nearly shaken from the boots he had just put on. He told CBS13, “I was back down below decks in front of my locker changing clothes when they dropped the first bomb.”
More than 1,100 men on board the USS Arizona would die that day. Of the 300 who survived, only four are still alive today.
More recently, the Carmichael resident spent time with the family he came very close to never having. And, until recently, he would go back to Hawaii every year on December 7. Age and time have caught up with this American hero and his travel is now limited.
Just as Lonnie would have said, he was honored to serve his country and so grateful to be one of the few survivors left from that fateful day.