Bridge City Pearl Harbor survivor passes away at age 102
Last updated 1/23/2024 at 12:36pm
Cedric Stout of Bridge City, one of the country's last survivors of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, died Wednesday at the age of 102.
This past December, the U.S. Navy reported only 25 living survivors of the attack were left. The December 7, 1941, Japanese surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific fleet in Hawaii was described by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as "a day that will live in infamy" when he asked Congress for a declaration of war.
Stout had his 20th birthday a month before the attack, which killed 2,400 Americans and wounded nearly 1,200 more. He was the last person to escape from the U.S.S. Utah before it was hit with torpedo bombs. The bombs made the ship capsize and sink, drowning those left on board.
Stout once recalled to The Record that he escaped machine gun fire from Japanese attack planes as he ran across the deck of the ship. He got off by going down on of the berthing ropes.
The World War II veteran spent his adult life in Bridge City, where he and his first wife, Delma Marie Stout, raised nine children, who all attended Bridge City schools. He and his first wife were married for 55 years. He later married his second wife, Cherry, who survives him. They were married for 24 years.
Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Saturday, January 20, at Claybar Funeral Home in Bridge City. Visitation will start at noon at the funeral home.
Stout grew up as the son of sharecroppers in rural Leonville, Louisiana, in the Bayou Teche region. His love of Cajun music lasted throughout his life.
As a teenager in the Great Depression, he got a job with the federal Civilian Conservation Corps, which gave unemployed, unmarried men jobs on public projects. He worked on parks in Oregon.
After serving in the CCC, he joined the Navy, which took him to his fateful assignment at Pearl Harbor. He told The Record he was often seasick, whether on deck or down below. Sometimes, he was so sick, he would go a week without eating. The seasickness, though, didn't stop him from spending World War II in the Navy fighting across the Pacific.
He participated annually with a group of Southeast Texas Pearl Harbor survivors, who gathered each December 7. The gathering in 2001, 60 years after the attack, was the last because their numbers were dwindling.
On his 100th birthday, the city of Bridge City honored him with the Key to the City and a special proclamation.