Remains of WWII sailor killed during Pearl Harbor attack arrive in Mississippi

Navy Fireman 1st Class Jim H. Johnston's remains arrive in Mississippi.

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — The remains of a Mississippi sailor who served in World War II arrived in the Magnolia state Tuesday.

Navy Fireman 1st Class Jim H. Johnston, of Wesson, will be buried on December 7, which is the 75th anniversary of his death.

The 23-year-old was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service  disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks.

The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The attack of the ship resulted in the death of 429 service men. Johnston’s remains were only identified this past May.

“Initially we didn’t have the means to identify the remains and they were buried in unknown graves in Hawaii,” said Carol Lynch, Deputy commander of Naval Legal Service Command.

“Now with technology we are able to identify some of the remains. as we are doing that the dept of defense is reaching out to family members, Lynch said.

Tuesday, his remains arrived at the Jackson airport. At least 75 members of the patriot guard escorted the remains of Johnston to the Riverwood Family Funeral home in Brookhaven.

During the ride, members of the community held flags and saluted as the procession made its way to the funeral home.

“I was just thinking to myself,” said Richard Roland, U.S. Navy Veteran. “I was crying off and on the whole way. I don’t know if anybody else was but I was.”

The funeral will be held Wednesday in his hometown.

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