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Obituaries in the News

April 6, 2004

Richard Fiske

HONOLULU (AP) _ Richard Fiske, a Pearl Harbor survivor who volunteered at the USS Arizona Memorial, died Friday at his Moiliili home after a brief illness, his son said. He was 82.

Fiske was a 19-year-old bugle player aboard the USS West Virginia on Dec. 7, 1941. He swam ashore to Ford Island shortly before his ship sank.

Years later, at a reunion, Fiske met Zenji Abe, a Japanese dive-bomber pilot who took part in the attack. He embraced his former enemy and the two became friends.

Fiske went on to fight in the battle for Iwo Jima, which he once described as ``36 straight days of Pearl Harbor.″

After the war, the Marine enlisted in the newly established Air Force and served during the Korean and Vietnam wars as a crew chief on KC-97 and KC-135 aircraft. He retired from the military in 1973 as a master sergeant.

Fiske began volunteering at the Arizona Memorial in 1982 and was among 10 volunteers honored in January by U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton and Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle for contributing more than 3,000 hours of time.

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