Joe Langdell, oldest survivor of USS Arizona sinking, passes away at 100

Joe Langdell, oldest survivor of USS Arizona sinking, passes away at 100

[Ed. – Fair winds and following seas, shipmate.]

Langdell survived the attack at Pearl Harbor, along with 334 other Arizona crewmen, and devoted much of his later years to preserving the memory of a day that changed history.

“The lesson I’ve learned from that experience is that the 1,177 men entombed on the ship right now will never know the love of a wife or the joy of grandchildren,” he said in 2006, when his son, Ted, interviewed him on video at Pearl Harbor. “We all have to remember that they did not die in vain.”

Langdell died early Wednesday in a skilled nursing center in Yuba City, Calif. He was 100, the oldest living survivor of the Arizona. With his passing, just eight crewmen from the mighty battleship remain. …

In November, Langdell dressed in his Navy blues and appeared, as has been his custom over the past few years, in the Marysville Veterans’ Day parade.

He had celebrated his birthday only a few weeks before.

Joseph Kopcho Langdell was born Oct. 12, 1914, in Wilton, N.H., the oldest son of Luther Langdell and Annie Kopcho Langdell. Earlier that same year, at a Navy ship yard in Brooklyn, work began on the battleship Arizona.

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