The identity of a previously-unidentified U.S. Navy sailor who perished in the Pearl Harbor attack has now been discovered—and he will be re-interred with military honors at the Santa Fe National Cemetery on August 19 at 11:15am.
The public is invited to attend this special re-interment for Navy Fireman 1st Class Billy J. Johnson of Caney, Kentucky. F1C Johnson, who spent his teenage years in Chama, NM, was among 429 crewmembers of the USS Oklahoma who lost their lives when the battleship was sunk in the December 7, 1941 surprise attack by Japan on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor.
The Department of Defense was only able to identify 35 of the deceased Oklahoma crew members. The remaining casualties were laid to rest as “unidentified” at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific–“The Punchbowl”–in Honolulu.
Technological advances enabled investigators to identify Mr. Johnson’s remains four months ago. The Santa Fe reburial is by request from a nephew in Truth or Consequences–and his two daughters, Mr. Johnson’s great-nieces, who also live in New Mexico.