NA­TION & WORLD SAILORS WHO DIED AT PEARL HAR­BOR FI­NALLY GO HOME

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE -

H ONOLULU» More than 75 years af­ter about 2,400 mem­bers of the U.S. mil­i­tary were killed in the Ja­panese at­tack at Pearl Har­bor, some who died on Dec. 7, 1941, fi­nally are be­ing laid to rest in ceme­ter­ies across the United States.

In 2015, the De­fense POW/MIA Ac­count­ing Agency ex­humed nearly 400 sets of re­mains from the Na­tional Memo­rial Ceme­tery of the Pa­cific in Hawaii af­ter de­ter­min­ing ad­vances in foren­sic science and ge­nealog­i­cal help from fam­i­lies could make iden­ti­fi­ca­tions pos­si­ble. They were all on the USS Ok­la­homa, which cap­sized dur­ing the at­tack, and had been buried as un­knowns af­ter the war.

Al­to­gether, 429 sailors and Marines on the Ok­la­homa were killed. Only 35 were iden­ti­fied in the years im­me­di­ately af­ter the at­tack. The Ok­la­homa’s ca­su­al­ties were sec­ond only to the USS Ari­zona, which lost 1,177 men.

As of this month, the agency has iden­ti­fied 186 sailors and Marines from the Ok­la­homa. Slowly, the re­mains are be­ing sent to be re­buried in places such as Traer, Iowa, and On­tanogan, Mich.

Here’s a look at some of those who have been re­buried this year or who will be in­terred Fri­day:

Durell Wade

Wade was born in 1917 in the Hardin Town com­mu­nity of ru­ral Cal­houn County, Miss. He en­listed in the Navy in 1936 and in 1940 reen­listed for an­other twoyear tour.

His burial in his home state had been planned for a week­end, when it would be more con­ve­nient for peo­ple to at­tend. But be­cause of sched­ul­ing con­flicts at the North Mis­sis­sippi Vet­er­ans Memo­rial Ceme­tery, his fam­ily de­cided the 77th an­niver­sary of the at­tack would be an ap­pro­pri­ate date, even if some peo­ple have to take time off, said his nephew, Dr. Lawrence Wade.

He was one of the sailor’s rel­a­tives who pro­vided DNA to help iden­tify him.

“My mid­dle name is his name, Durell. My grand­son has that name also,” said the 75-year-old re­tired psy­chi­a­trist from Ba­ton Rouge, La. “I’d gone through my life not re­ally know­ing any­thing about him, other than I car­ried his name and he was killed at Pearl Har­bor. Once this DNA process came along and made it pos­si­ble to iden­tify his re­mains, it just made him much more of a real per­son to me.”

Wil­liam Bruesewitz

Re­nate Starck has been pon­der­ing the eu­logy she’ll give at the fu­neral for her un­cle on Fri­day.

“We al­ways have thought of him on Dec. 7,” she said. “He’s al­ready such a big part of that his­tory.”

Bruesewitz, of Ap­ple­ton, Wis., will be buried in Ar­ling­ton Na­tional Ceme­tery, near Wash­ing­ton. “It’s a real bless­ing to have him re­turn­ing and we’ve cho­sen Ar­ling­ton be­cause we feel he’s a hero and be­longs there,” Starck said.

About 50 fam­ily mem­bers from Wis­con­sin, Florida, Arkansas and Mary­land will at­tend.

Wil­liam Kvidera

Hun­dreds of peo­ple filled a Catholic church in Traer in Novem­ber for Wil­liam Kvidera’s fu­neral.

The solemn cer­e­mony in his home­town in­cluded full mil­i­tary honors.

“It’s some­thing like a dream,” his brother, John Kvidera, 91, said.

John Kvidera was 14 when he found out about the bomb­ings at Pearl Har­bor and re­mem­bers hud­dling around a ra­dio to find out what was go­ing on. The fam­ily ini­tially re­ceived a tele­gram say­ing Wil­liam, the old­est of six sib­lings, was miss­ing in ac­tion.

A tele­gram in Fe­bru­ary 1943 no­ti­fied the fam­ily of his death.

Robert Holmes

The re­mains of Marine Pfc. Robert Kimball Holmes were in­terred in Au­gust in his home­town of Salt Lake City.

“It’s strange, isn’t it, to be here hon­or­ing a 19-year-old kid killed 77 years ago,” nephew Bruce Holmes said.

Only one per­son in at­ten­dance at the grave­side ser­vices — an­other nephew and name­sake Bob Holmes — had per­sonal me­mories of the Marine, The Salt Lake Tri­bune re­ported.

The younger Bob is now more than four times older as the sailor when he died. He re­mem­bers his un­cle com­ing home on leave in sum­mer 1941 when he was 6 years old.

Low­ell Val­ley

For 20 years, Navy Fire­man 2nd Class Low­ell Val­ley’s brother worked to iden­tify USS Ok­la­homa sailors. Now that Val­ley has been iden­ti­fied and his re­mains have been re­turned home to On­ton­agon, Bob Val­ley ex­pects his role in help­ing iden­tify a group of 27 sailors will be over soon. All 27 have been lo­cated.

Low­ell Val­ley was buried at the Holy Fam­ily Catholic ceme­tery in July, the Iron Moun­tain Daily News re­ported.

Leon Arickx

More than 76 years af­ter he died, the re­mains of Navy Sea­man 1st Class Leon Arickx were buried on a bril­liant sum­mer day at a small ceme­tery in north­ern Iowa.

Hun­dreds gath­ered in July for Arickx’s grave­side ser­vice at Sa­cred Heart Ceme­tery out­side Osage, Iowa, in a sparsely pop­u­lated farm­ing re­gion just south of Min­nesota, where Arickx grew up. Among them was his niece, Jan­ice Schon­rock, who was a baby when Arickx died.

“My fam­ily talked about him all that time,” said Schon­rock, 77. “I felt I knew him be­cause ev­ery­one talked about him.”

Chris Zoeller, Globe-Gazette

Sailors fold the Amer­i­can flag that was draped over the cas­ket of Sea­man 1st Class Leon Arickx in July at Sa­cred Heart Ceme­tery in Osage, Iowa.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.