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Remains of Rushford World War II Sailor Finally Home

July 08, 2018 06:20 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- After 76 years, the remains of a Rushford sailor who died in one of the most infamous days in U.S. history finally came home.  Joseph Johnson reported for duty aboard the USS Oklahoma and on December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked and his ship was destroyed.

On Saturday, his family, friends, and hometown are remembering him.

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Rushford Lutheran Church held a tribute to Johnson on Saturday. Members of the community came together to pay their respects and thank the sailor's relatives for his sacrifice.

Johnson's oldest living relative, his 99-year-old brother-in-law received a flag. The church service was followed by a ceremony with full military honors at Rushford Lutheran Cemetery, "To have that closure, to have that opportunity to finally bring him home and lay him to rest. It's so fascinating to me that his name is on the American Legion post here. And now, he's actually here so people can come and visit his grave" expressed Capt. Nathaniel Strandquist of the United States Navy.

Johnson's remains along with nearly 400 others were disinterred from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. Through new technology, a government agency was able to match his DNA sample to a living relative. This made it possible for Johnson to finally be laid to rest in Rushford.

KAAL-TV

Copyright 2018 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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