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Charlie Dowd of Anaconda, last Pearl Harbor survivor in Montana, dies at age 99

Dowd was just 17 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941
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Posted at 6:20 PM, Mar 21, 2023

Montana’s two U.S. senators expressed condolences on Monday, March 21, 2023 on the passing of Charlie Dowd of Anaconda—Montana’s last known living Pearl Harbor survivor.

Dowd was just 17 years old when the Japanese attacked the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Dowd was first ordered to take cover under some tables. Soon, they were looking for volunteers to fight and Dowd and another sailor grabbed rifles, climbed to the roof of a building, and started shooting at the attacking planes.

“Charlie Dowd’s extraordinary courage at Pearl Harbor and exemplary service is what makes our country the greatest in the world, and we owe him a deep debt that can never be repaid,” U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) said in a statement. “A member of the Greatest Generation, he proudly answered the call to service and was among the thousands of radiomen working all day and night transmitting and receiving messages to keep our nation safe. He is one of Montana’s very best, and he will be sorely missed.”

U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) honored Dowd with a tribute in the Congressional Record in 2018. Daines said in a statement on Monday, “I’m saddened to hear about the passing of Montana hero Charlie Dowd, the last survivor of Pearl Harbor in our state. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and all who loved him today. Charlie’s story is a solemn reminder that freedom is never free and the price paid by the greatest generation is a debt that we will never be able to repay.”

Dowd's public obituary said he died on Friday, March 17, 2023. He was 99 years old.