PEARL HARBOR (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Pearl Harbor survivor who witnessed the attack while an ensign assigned to the USS Arizona will be reunited with his shipmates during an interment ceremony Monday on the 74th anniversary of the event.
Navy Lt. Commander Joseph Langdell, who died February at 100 years old in Northern California, was the last surviving officer from the naval battleship that lost 1,177 men when it was bombed on Dec. 7, 1941. He was on Ford Island the morning Pearl Harbor was attacked.
"When I die, I'm going to be buried on the Arizona where the great big hull is," Langdell told Hawaii News Now in 2011, when he was in Honolulu for a Pearl Harbor commemoration ceremony. "That was where turret two was, and turret two was my station."
After the first wave of the attack, Langdell rushed toward the ship to help surviving crewmen from waters off the coast of Hawaii, according to the Los Angeles Times. He then spent the following days removing remains of the dead from the partially sunken ship.
"Since I was an officer in there and I had men under me, and some of those young fellas didn't have much money, so I loaned them some money," Langdell said. "So when I'm buried, I'm going down there. And one of the reasons is those fellas owe me money, and by God, I'm going to get it."
Langdell's remains will be interred in the hull of the ship with full military honors. His family will also attend the interment ceremony expected to get underway at 4 p.m.