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Combat Collection / Second to the Last to Leave
23899 Madison Street  Torrance, CA 90505
310.791.5808     secondtothelasttoleave@gmail.com

Int. Day of Peace
Click to view larger..Uss Ariazona underway
Click to view larger..Uss Ariazona underway
Click to view larger
You are invited to assist in the preservation of an important part of America’s History, by helping to fund, the film “The Second to the Last to Leave” a riveting documentary about the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, through the eyes of an actual survivor.

The USS Arizona is probably the most well known U.S. Battleship in history; lectured about in classes and described in books worldwide. Our documentary will tell this great ship’s story in vivid detail; describing how, after she was torpedoed and then bombed, the Arizona continued to fight gallantly as she was sinking taking 1,177 crewmen to their graves on Sunday morning December 7, 1941.

Of the crew of 1,510 only 333 survived this attack that brought the United States of America into World War II; of those that survived only 9 remain alive today.

Lauren F. Bruner is one of these survivors. He was “The Second to the Last to Leave” the USS Arizona before this great symbol of American Power sank to the bottom of Pearl Harbor settling in exactly the same place that she rests today. Although, over the last 70 years, there have been a handful of survivor’s accounts including some personal videos of their remembrances, all of which are equally important; there has never been anything documented before as in-depth as the story we intend to tell through this film.

 It is believed, that none of those who survived the attack on the USS Arizona have ever been more committed to preserving the story we intend to tell for future generations, than Lauren Bruner.

An important part of Lauren’s story recounts how he and 5 fellow crewman manning one of the Arizona’s Anti-Aircraft gun batteries on the ship’s portside, barely escaped certain death. They manned their battle station until the last possible moment before leaving the ship as she sank to the muddy bottom of Pearl Harbor. They escaped; hand over hand, while dangling from a rope 60 feet above the oily and burning waters of Pearl Harbor.
 Five of the Six men on Lauren’s crew were severely burned and none would have lived if not for the help of Joseph George  on the nearby repair ship Vestal, which was under heavy enemy fire itself. George threw a line to Lauren and his men as their only means to escape.

Lauren, overseeing the crew of his battle station was “The Second to the Last to Leave” the Arizona, followed by Alvin Dvorak who according to Lauren was the “true hero” as he was the one who first caught the attention of those on the Vestal and was the last to leave the Arizona.

 Due to the flash fire that engulfed the ship after the last bomb hit the forward magazine, igniting  the ship’s ammunition and engulfing it in a giant fireball, Lauren was burned over 74% of his body and Alvin Dvorak over 82%. His injuries left Lauren in the hospital for seven months, while Dvorak passed away 17 days later on December 24th 1941.

What this film will capture, through your help, is the detailed events of one of America’s most defining moments in history through the eyes of one who was actually there. Further, our efforts will help to allow a true American Hero, Lauren Bruner, to return to Pearl Harbor and spend the day visiting, sharing and remembering the events of that historic day. Recording and filming Lauren’s memories of the Arizona; from first being stationed aboard ship - to the minute by minute memories from the day of the fateful attack.
 This story, through your help, will become the most detailed and important record ever captured from a survivor of the Arizona, which will be shared with generations to come. Through his story, while speaking for all of his fellow crew, Lauren will help to preserve this defining piece of America’s history for future generations so that all might remember the cost to defend freedom and the legacy of those who did.

A copy of this documentary will be made available to the Pearl Harbor Memorial National Park as a gift at no cost, to share with future generations of visitors. Last year the Pearl Harbor Memorial was visited by more than 1.7 Million guests.

Today Lauren is 92 and will turn 93 on November 4th. In order to capture his story your help is needed, and we are asking you to consider any size gift you would like to consider.

For your help we will send an autographed photo copy of the USS Arizona, hours after the attack, suitable for framing. You will be able to tell your friends, children and grandchildren that you not only know, but are a friend of a true American Hero, as you personally show them this autographed print you will receive for your help.

Also, when you, or any member of your family, visit Pearl Harbor, Lauren will be there in sprit to thank you, as he has already made arrangements with the National Park Service to be interred aboard the Arizona as his final resting place alongside his fellow crewman.

The goal of this project is to help secure funds in the amount of $25,000 which will include travel, pricipal photography, filming, editing and originals music which when competed will produce a 15 minute or longer documentary that we, as a nation, will never have the opportunity to make again.  Should additional funds, more than is requested, be donated the film will be lengthened.
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