Pearl Har­bor vic­tims home af­ter 77 years

Tri-City Herald - - Obituaries | News -

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 Ok­la­homa’s ca­su­al­ties were sec- ond only to the USS Ari­zona, which lost 1,177 men.

The agency has iden­ti­fied about 190 sailors and Marines from the Ok­la­homa who were pre­vi­ously uniden­ti­fied.

Slowly, the re­mains are be­ing sent to be re­buried in places like Traer, Iowa, and On­tanogan, Michi­gan.

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, 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 ap­pro- pri­ate 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, Louisiana. “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.”

Wade’s nephew has been plan­ning his fu­neral. A gospel singer will sing the na­tional an­them. Bag­pipes will play. Pi­lots will con­duct a fly­over. Mis­sis­sippi Gov. Phil Bryant and Capt. Brian Horts­man, com­mand­ing of­fi­cer of Naval Air Sta­tion Merid­ian, will make re- marks.

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.

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

Brue­se­witz, of Ap­ple­ton, Wis­con­sin, will be buried in Ar­ling­ton Na­tional Ceme­tery, near Wash­ing­ton, D.C. “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.

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

The solemn cer­e­mony in his home­town in­cluded full mil­i­tary hon­ors, the Water­loo-Cedar Falls Courier re­ported .

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

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, Michi­gan, Bob Val­ley ex­pects his role in help­ing iden­tify a group of 27 sailors will soon be over. 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 amid the corn­fields of north­ern Iowa.

CHRIS ZOELLER AP

On July 7, U.S. Navy Rear Adm. 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’ 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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