Remains of sailor killed at Pearl Harbor returned home to Louisville 76 years later
After 76 years, a fallen U.S. sailor's remains are finally back in his hometown.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After 76 years, a fallen U.S. sailor's remains are finally back in his hometown.
Samuel Crowder was killed in Pearl Harbor and just recently identified through DNA testing. And on Thursday, dozens of Patriot Guard Riders lined up at Louisville International last night to welcome him home.
“For the family, it’s complete closure knowing 100 percent ... that he’s coming home buried on his soil where he was born and raised,” said Todd Matonich with Rolling Thunder in Lexington.
Crowder was stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941 when his ship was hit by Japanese torpedoes. Crowder was never identified after the attack and buried in a mass grave until DNA testing revealed his identity this fall when it matched with a sample provided by his niece in Kentucky.
“We didn’t know him, but he served, and it’s a brother of ours, and that’s why it’s important to us,” said J.B. Reynolds, a Patriot Guard rider.
The riders hope to bring awareness to Crowder’s story and the stories of many other families across the country left without an ending.
“There are still 80,000 service members left in harm’s way listed as prisoners of war or missing in action," Reynolds said. "That’s 80,000 families that don’t know where their loved one is to this day. It’s times like this that we can bring a little bit of closure to a small percentage."
Senior Ride Captain Tom Baker said they are proud to do everything than can for someone who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.
“It’s an honor to be able to stand for our veteran," Baker said. "All veterans."
Crowder's visitation and funeral are open to the public. The visitation is from 5-8 p.m. Friday and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Resthaven Funeral Home on Bardstown Road.
The funeral service begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
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