SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Ken Hartle, a WWII veteran and the country's oldest surviving Pearl Harbor salvage diver, died last week in California at the age of 103, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Hartle, a Seabee, was given the somber charge of retrieving bodies from vessels that were sunk by the Japanese during attacks on December 7th, 1941. He also worked to remove unexploded Japanese ordnance and assisted in the raising of sunken ships from the harbor.
David Ball, of the Navy Divers Association, tells the Union-Tribune that prior to Hartle's death, he was likely the oldest diver who worked on Pearl Harbor salvage projects.
After his work in Pearl Harbor was complete, Hartle continued his work as a Navy salvage diver until leaving the service in December of 1945, just months after the end of the war.