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Navy sailor who died at Pearl Harbor finally coming home

Posted at 7:42 PM, Apr 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-23 19:42:55-04

MADISON — More than 77 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a sailor who lost his life will finally come home.

According to a release from the Indiana Department of Veterans' Affairs, Navy Fireman 3rd Class Willard Irvin Lawson's remains will be buried Saturday at Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Madison.

In the summer of 2015, Lawson was identified after the remains of men from the USS Oklahoma were exhumed and analyzed using mitochondrial DNA. Lawson's name is one of 18,000 names etched on the Walls of the Missing in Hawaii.

Over the 18 months following the attack, the remains of 429 Armed Forces personnel who died on the USS Oklahoma and were unable to be identified were gathered and buried at cemeteries in Hawaii. The release said that according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, 200 crewmen have been identified since exhumations began.

The ceremony is open to the public and will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at 1415 North Gate Road in Madison.