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Second oldest Pearl Harbor survivor dies at 104

February 20, 2018

Pearl Harbor survivor Navy Lt. Jim Downing died last week in Colorado Springs at 104 years old, KKTV reported.

Downing, who died from complications in surgery Tuesday, joined the Navy at 19 and served for 24 years.

The Gazette (Twitter)

Downing was aboard the USS West Virginia serving as a gunner’s mate 1st class and postmaster when on Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

Downing memorized the names of the fallen on the USS West Virginia and wrote to their parents to let them know they died as heroes.

From 1952 to 1955, Downing served as the commanding officer of the USS Patapsco during the Korean War.

In 2007, he wrote a book about some of his experiences and in 2016, he wrote a book titled “The Other Side of Infamy: My Journey through Pearl Harbor and the World of War.” The book made him the oldest male author of a new work in the Guinness Book of World Records.

“I have a very adventurous life. I thought my children and grandchildren should know about it, so I originally wrote it down for them,” he said in a previous interview.

After retiring from the Navy, Downing took a job at a worldwide Christian ministry that he helped create in Colorado Springs called The Navigators.

Downing met with Presidents George H.W. Bush, George Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

He is survived by his six children and nine grandchildren.