Body of KY native killed on USS Oklahoma in Pearl Harbor finally returns home

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Willard Irvin Lawson, of Kentucky, died aboard the USS Oklahoma in Pearl...
Navy Fireman 3rd Class Willard Irvin Lawson, of Kentucky, died aboard the USS Oklahoma in Pearl Harbor. (Source: DVA)
Updated: Apr. 26, 2019 at 7:49 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Navy Fireman who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II will soon lie in his final resting place near his hometown of Milton, Kentucky.

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Willard Irvin Lawson (William) served on the USS Oklahoma in Pearl Harbor. He was killed in the attack on Dec. 7, 1941, but was listed as Missing In Action as he was not able to be identified, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).

Lawson’s name was listed on the Walls of the Missing in Hawaii, along with more than 18,000 others. The DVA said his remains were buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii.

In 2015, the military began exhuming bodies of veterans killed aboard the USS Oklahoma in an attempt to identify them through DNA.

Lawson was identified during this process.

He still has family in Milton, Kentucky, where he first registered to serve in the United States Navy.

Friday, April 26, Lawson’s body arrived in Louisville to be escorted to the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Madison, Indiana, across the river from Milton.

Rolling Thunder Inc. and Kentucky and Indiana Patriot Guard Riders escorted Lawson’s body to his final resting place.

Lawson will be buried with military honors Saturday, April 27. The funeral is open to the public. It’s at 1 p.m. at 1415 North Gate Road, Madison, IN 47250.

WWII MIA being escorted to final resting place

RIGHT NOW: Fireman 3rd Class William I. Lawson USN, who was listed as Missing in Action during WWII on the USS Oklahoma, is finally coming home. READ MORE >> Get the earliest breaking news alerts on your phone with the WAVE 3 News app >>

Posted by WAVE 3 News on Friday, April 26, 2019

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