The final journey home for Seaman 1st Class Joseph Johnson

Sailor from Rushford identified 75 years after Pearl Harbor

July 07, 2018 - 9:40 am

A Minnesota sailor killed when Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941 is finally home.

Seaman First Class Joseph Johnson was buried in his hometown of Rushford on Saturday following a memorial service.

The remains were flown into Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Friday.

A flag-draped casket bearing Johnson was lowered from the plane and placed in a hearse parked on the airport tarmac.

Accompanied by a police honor guard, the remains were brought to Johnson's hometown in southern Minnesota.  

Johnson enlisted in the Navy at age 22 in 1940.

He was stationed on the USS Oklahoma in Hawaii when the bombs started falling on Dec. 7, 1941.  

Johnson died in the bombing, along with 400 others. He was buried unidentified at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu for more than 75 years.

Military scientists using DNA of Johnson's nephew matched the remains.   

Among those attending Saturday's service was one of Johnson's uncles who's now 99 years old.

The tribute took place at Rushford Lutheran Church, with a service at Rushford Lutheran Cemetery.