Donald G Stratton obituary

Donald G Stratton Obituary

Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

July 14, 1922 - February 15, 2020

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Donald G Stratton obituary

Donald G Stratton Obituary

Jul 14, 1922 - Feb 15, 2020

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World War II Veteran

Donald G. Stratton, was born July 14, 1922 in Inavale, Nebraska to Robert and Jessie Stratton and upon graduation from high school in Red Cloud, he enlisted in the Navy and was a Seaman First Class aboard the USS Arizona. He was united in holy matrimony to Velma D’Ette Lockhart on April 23, 1950. The couple was married for 69 years where they travelled the world and grew a beautiful family.

Donald Stratton was one of the last three remaining survivors of the USS Arizona. On the morning of December 7, 1941, a 19-year-old Donald was beckoned to his battle station as the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor sending the Navy's flagship, the USS Arizona to the depths. On that day, 1,177 men perished in the explosion leaving just 300 alive. Donald was burned over 65% of his body and escaped the inferno by climbing across a line to a neighboring ship the USS Vestal. In an incredible act of courage, Donald and fellow survivor Lauren Bruner were saved by a sailor named Joe George.  After years of striving to recognize Joe for his heroism that day, Donald, Lauren Bruner and their families, stood aboard the USS Arizona Memorial December 7, 2018 to posthumously honor Joe George with a Bronze Star with a “V.” The courage and bravery of Joe and the grit and grace of Donald has weaved together a precious community of families that hope to keep the memory of Pearl Harbor alive.

After spending over a year in the hospital recovering, Donald re-enlisted in the US Navy as WWII was still raging. At first, the Navy wouldn't allow Donald to re-enlist due to his medical discharge, however he proved them wrong by going through boot camp a second time. He participated in six more invasions aboard the USS Stack. After WWII ended, he was 100% medically discharged and went on to work with deep sea divers and oil rigs offshore.

 

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