In the 82nd year since Pearl Harbor, we honor the memory of those who lost their lives in that devastating attack. There is much history in the survival world, and Pearl Harbor is no different.
After surviving the bombing at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, Lou Conter was accepted into a flight training program after a story of courage, resilience, and determination is featured in this issue of the Associate Press. As an instructor during World War II, he maintained a watch for submarines and bombed enemy targets with Navy PBY patrol bombers. He flew night-time missions in a squadron known as the 'Black Cats', flying in black-painted planes. It's no wonder he was nicknamed the 'Lucky Lou' of the group with over 200 combat missions under his belt.
In 1943, Conter and his crew were shot down near New Guinea. Nevertheless, Conter assured them that panicking would lead to their failure. They were saved by an airplane dropping them off at a lifeboat hours later, despite things looking dire at first. In the midst of sharks swimming nearby, he calmly remarked, "Don't ever panic." Survival has been proven time and time again by keeping your head up.
During the 1950s, he made history by becoming one of the very first SERE officers in the Navy. His lessons proved invaluable to pilots and crew members during Vietnam during which they were captured by enemy forces. Their priceless knowledge helped them survive during those difficult years, saving countless lives.