LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A fallen sailor killed at Pearl Harbor is back home 76 years later and will be buried Saturday in his hometown of Louisville.

Samuel Crowder's family held a visitation Friday night at the Resthaven Funeral Home.

Crowder was stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese torpedoed his ship.

Fred Crowder, Samuel Crowder’s nephew, made the trip to Kentucky from Oregon to attend the funeral.

“Uncle Sam is home, and it’s about time,” Fred Crowder said.

The sailor was buried in a mass grave, unidentified for decades until family members provided DNA samples and the Navy exhumed the remains along with many others. The results arrived at the end of August.

“It felt good, and now it’s just even feeling better that he’s home,” Fred Crowder said.

The family watched at Louisville International Airport on Thursday night as Samuel Crowder’s remains returned to his hometown.

"Being at the airport, seeing him in, most of us were probably moved to tears," said John Johnson, who is married to Samuel Crowder’s niece. "The respect that's been shown, just the Navy, the way they handled it.

"They knew it would mean something to have him arrive on the anniversary."

With more remains still unidentified, the Crowder family hopes their story will encourage others to provide DNA samples so more service members can be identified.

"Hopefully pretty soon, we'll never ever have any unknown soldier or sailor or marine," Fred Crowder said.

Samuel Crowder will be laid to rest Saturday at Resthaven Cemetery on Bardstown Road, close to his mother's grave. The funeral is open to the public and begins at 1 p.m.

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