Your Navy

North Dakota sailor's remains to return home decades later

WILLOW CITY, N.D. — The remains of a North Dakota sailor who was killed at Pearl Harbor will soon be coming home for burial.

Navy Fireman 1st Class Lawrence Fecho will be buried with full military honors during a service on Aug. 13 in Willow Creek.

According to the Minot Daily News , Fecho was on the USS Oklahoma in Pearl Harbor when the ship was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. It was hit by multiple torpedoes from a Japanese aircraft and capsized. A total of 429 crewmen died, including Fecho.

No single vessel at Pearl Harbor, with the exception of the USS Arizona, suffered as many fatalities, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

Many of the deceased were not immediately identified. The American Graves Registration Service eventually buried the unidentified remains at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In 2015, the Department of Defense ordered that unidentified remains from the USS Oklahoma be exhumed and analyzed. Fecho’s remains were recently identified through DNA analysis and circumstantial evidence.

Fecho was the 10th of 12 children of William and Katherine Fecho. The family lived on a farm near Willow City.

The youngest sibling, Betty Fecho Anderson, is now 90 and lives in Mesa, Arizona. She says she’s the only sibling still alive.

She provided DNA and learned earlier this year that his remains had been identified.

Anderson and a number of relatives, including about 25 nieces and nephews, will attend the services for Fecho.

“We waited a long time,” Anderson said.

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