In commemoration of the 76th Remembrance Day of Pearl Harbor, Blue Hawaiian Helicopters will provide three of the remaining USS Arizona survivors a helicopter flyover above the sunken battleship’s remains for a sky salute on Wednesday, December 6.
During this aerial tour of the historic site, the survivors, namely Lauren Bruner, Howard Kenton “Ken” Potts, and Donald Stratton, will be given an opportunity to once again honor the 1,177 shipmates they lost during the fateful attack on December 7, 1941.
“We are so thankful to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters for once again donating this flight above the USS Arizona for the survivors and their families. It will be a unique experience for the survivors to see the Arizona from above,” said Nikki Stratton, granddaughter of survivor Donald Stratton. “The flight will give the survivors a chance to salute their fallen shipmates, honor the survivors, and continue the legacy with their families,” she added.
The helicopters, which will be piloted by US Army veterans Kristi Hickey, Loren Sampson and Gardner Brown will depart at 3:30 p.m. for a short aerial tour of the memorial and will circle back by 3:45 p.m. at the Blue Hawaiian Helicopters’ Oahu helibase.
In 2016, Blue Hawaiian Helicopters afforded the remaining USS Arizona survivors the opportunity to fly over the submerged USS Arizona wreckage for the first time after 75 years.
“It is a privilege to be able to do this again for the USS Arizona survivors,” said Gregg Lundberg, president of Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. “They are heroes deserving of our highest honor and it is only fitting that they are given this meaningful tribute. They link us to a pivotal moment in history, reminding us of how great a nation we live in. They help us appreciate the freedom we enjoy today.”