Re­mains of Pearl Har­bor sailors re­turn home after 77 years

The Herald Sun - - Nation -

More than 75 years after nearly 2,400 mem­bers of the U.S. mil­i­tary were killed in the Ja­panese at­tack at Pearl Har­bor, some who died on Dec. 7, 1941, are fi­nally 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 agency has iden­ti­fied about 190 sailors and Marines who were pre­vi­ously uniden­ti­fied.

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

Durell Wade: Wade was born in 1917 in the Hardin

Town com­mu­nity of ru­ral Cal­houn County, Mis­sis­sippi. He en­listed in the Navy in 1936 and in 1940 re-en­listed for an­other two-year tour.

His burial in his home state was orig­i­nally planned for a week­end. 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, said his nephew, Dr. Lawrence Wade.

Wil­liam Brue­se­witz: Re­nate Starck has been pon­der­ing the eu­logy she’ll give at the fu­neral for her un­cle, Navy Sea­man 1st Class Wil­liam Brue­se­witz, on Fri­day.

Brue­se­witz, of Ap­ple­ton, Wis­con­sin, will be buried in Ar­ling­ton Na­tional Ceme­tery. “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.

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 amid the corn­fields of 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.

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

CHRIS ZOELLER AP

On July 7, U.S. Navy Rear Ad­mi­ral John Kri­etz presents a folded Amer­i­can flag to Mark Arickx, nephew to Sea­man First Class Leon Arickx, at Sa­cred Heart Ceme­tery in Osage, Iowa. Arickx’s re­mains, which were uniden­ti­fi­able after his death after the at­tack at Pearl Har­bor in 1941, were iden­ti­fied through DNA test­ing ear­lier this year.

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