WINTHROP, Ark. — After nearly 80 years, the remains of a Navy sailor who died in the attack on Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor have been returned and buried in his home state of Arkansas.
The remains of those who died aboard the Oklahoma were eventually reburied as “unknowns” in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific shortly before 1950.
In 2015, the U.S. Department of Defense began identifying these remains and in March, the Navy notified Steiner’s living relatives of his positive identification. He was one of 428 men serving on the Oklahoma who went missing in action.
Officials believe remains of nearly half of the 83,000 unidentified service members killed in World War II and more recent wars could be identified and returned to relatives.
Steiner was fondly remembered during a funeral service Saturday in Texarkana attended by relatives and members of area veterans organizations.
“If I had to choose a brother, I couldn’t have chosen a better brother than the one God gave me,” said Emily Utterback, Steiner’s younger half-sister.
Following the service, Steiner’s remains were buried at Camp Ground Cemetery, near Winthrop — a town not far from where he grew up.