- Associated Press - Friday, May 20, 2016

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - The remains of a U.S. Navy member killed in the Pearl Harbor attack will be returned to be buried in his hometown in Kansas nearly 75 years after his death.

Navy Seaman 2nd Class Dale Pearce’s remains will be flown by military escort to Tulsa on Tuesday, The Wichita Eagle (https://bit.ly/1YJooCG ) reported.

Family members, escorted by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and local police, will take the casket to Parsons. It’ll be buried Thursday in Dennis, a town of about 300 people.

“On the day Pearl Harbor happened, I was outside playing on my tricycle,” said Ralph Pearce, Dale’s cousin. “I remember going inside and all the folks were listening to the radio. I still remember the looks on their faces that something was wrong.”

According to military records, Pearce’s remains were recovered about a year after the 1941 attack. But advances in DNA technology in recent years have allowed authorities to identify remains of those deceased long ago.

Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency scientists used family DNA and dental comparisons to identify Pearce.

“It is a huge honor for him to be coming home and identified after all these years,” said Pam Mathis, Ralph Pearce’s daughter.

Dale Pearce was the youngest of 13 children, and his mother died when he was 12.

“He will be buried next to his mother,” Ralph Pearce said. “My folks are buried down there. He will have a sister next to him and a couple of brothers. Our spirits are happy about it.”

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, https://www.kansas.com

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