Family of WWII Seaman is honored 68 years later

FT MITCHELL, KY (FOX19) - Norb Lankheit was declared missing 68 years ago after a Nazi mine hit his Destroyer Escort on June 8, 1944 during WWII. Now, the Seaman Second Class will be remembered and honored for his service.

"It actually came about 35 to 40 years ago when I was just a young boy walking around the cemetery with my grandmother. She told me so much about her older brother and I just wanted to do something for Uncle Norb and just to feel to bring him home," said Jeff Cox, his great nephew.

Congressman Geoff Davis presented Norb's only surviving sibling with his brother's Purple Heart and six other medals and ribbons at St. John's Cemetery on Saturday.

"He was a great guy. A happy person and we enjoyed each other's company. And have some memories together," said Norb's fiancé, Mildred Barhorst, 93.

Barhorst planned to marry Norb when he returned home. Decades after his death, she's still single. Barhorst joined the Army shortly after her fiance's death.

"I knew there was something when she told me that she never married. That he was the only one for her. You just broke down. You just broke down. I just had him near so much. She's just such a wonderful lady," said Cox.

Now Norb's family has something to hold onto to remember the loved one they lost.

"We only had a little mass for him. It means so much what's happening today. It means a lot. I'll never forget it," said Lawrence Lankheit, Norb's little brother.

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