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1 of survivors of Pearl Harbor attack dies at 102


Richard C. ‘Dick’ Higgins, one of the last survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack, passed away of natural causes on Tuesday at the age of 102 in Bend, Oregon, the family informed.
Higgins was a radioman stationed at the Hawaii naval base during the Japanese bombing on December 7, 1941.
Vividly recalling the day of attack in a recent interview, Higgins said, “I jumped out of my bunk and I ran over to the edge of the lanai and just as I got there, a plane went right over the barracks.”
Describing the Japanese planes with its flag as “big red meatballs”, he said, “So, there was no doubt what was happening in my mind, because of the things that had been going on.”
Born in Oklahoma in 1921, Higgins enlisted in the Navy in 1939 and later served as an aeronautics engineer, contributing to projects like the B-2 Stealth Bomber. His devotion to his work and country was evident throughout his life, as he continued to share his experiences from World War II and the Great Depression with students and the community.
Describing her grandfather as “humble and kind”, Angela Norton said, “It was never about him,” adding, “The heroes were those that didn’t come home.”
His wife, Winnie Ruth, died in 2004 at the age of 82. They had been married for sixty years.
Kathleen Farley, the California state chair of the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors, reported that 22 survivors of the attack are still alive. Farley stated that other survivors may still be alive, but they may not be aware of her because they did not join the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association when it was founded in 1958.
Higgins was survived by two children, two grandsons, and four great-grandchildren. The family intends to hold a memorial service at a Bend church on Thursday, followed by a ceremony with full military honors. Then his body will be transferred to California, where he will be buried alongside his wife.
(With inputs from AP)

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