WWII Vet Featured in Viral Video Being Honored With Navy Salute Dies; Memorial to Be Held on USS Iowa in San Pedro

A World War II veteran who was featured in in a video being honored by chief selects in front of his Gardena home over the summer died earlier this month.

Ernest Thompson died on Nov. 3 at the age of 99, and a memorial will be held for him on the USS Iowa in San Pedro on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Thompson was influential in bringing the USS Iowa to the Port of Los Angeles and regularly visited the ship to share his stories, according to the Battleship Iowa news release. He celebrated his final birthday at the ship’s museum in October.

In August, the Chief Army Selects of the US Navy Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Center honored Thompson at his home with the Navy’s March song. The video went viral and was watched millions of times worldwide, according to the news release.

Thompson served on the USS Tennessee and played baseball on their team. He then served on the USS Missouri and earned the rank of Petty Officer First Class.

Thompson was aboard the USS Tennessee when Pearl Harbor was attacked and later witnessed Japan surrender when he was on the USS Missouri in 1945.

Those wishing to donate to the Ernest R. Thompson Memorial Fund can send their donations to Pacific Battleship Center, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro, CA, 90731.