Remains of WWII sailor from Oklahoma returned to family

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TULSA, Okla. – The remains of a sailor from northeastern Oklahoma killed during the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, returned to his family Friday evening.

DNA analysis identified the remains exhumed from a national cemetery near Honolulu as those of 20-year-old Navy Seaman 1st Class Eugene W. Wicker of Coweta, Oklahoma.

DNA was submitted by Woody Wicker, Eugene’s nephew.

Generations of the family welcomed him home Friday evening at the airport.

“Just a lot of questions about you know, where he was at, how he died,” Woody told FOX 23. “I never got to meet the guy, I carry part of his name but I didn’t get to meet him.”

Eugene was one of 429 USS Oklahoma crew members killed when the battleship was struck by Japanese torpedoes and capsized.

He was laid to rest with full military honors Saturday morning in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma.

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