Green Bay native Vernon Luke, pictured in his United States Navy uniform, will receive full military honors when his remains are buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu on Wednesday. The ceremony comes more than 74 years after he was killed aboard the USS Oklahoma battleship in the Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii during World War II on Dec. 7, 1941. (Photo: Courtesy of Vernon Luke Family)

Finally indeed. May he Rest in Peace.

Via Green Bay Press Gazette, HT Newser.

LeeAnn Michalske never met her uncle, whom she has always known as a hero.

Nearly 75 years after Vernon Luke’s death in the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Michalske will be giving her uncle the farewell her family always desired.

Luke will be buried with full military honors at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu on Wednesday, at 11:30 a.m. local time.

“I am rather excited about being a part of history,” Michalske, a Sturgeon Bay resident, said before she left Green Bay on Tuesday morning for a long-overdue flight to Oahu.

The funeral, and the history it will make, is the result of a Department of Defense decision to attempt to identify the remains of nearly 400 members of the crew of the USS Oklahoma who died during the attack on Pear Harbor and were buried as “unknowns.”

Luke, a Green Bay native, was one of the first five to be identified and will be the first of the battleship’s former unknowns to be re-interred at the national cemetery, said Gene Maestas, the Department of Defense’s on-site public affairs specialist.

Michalske, 78, is the oldest-surviving member of Luke’s family. She is traveling to Hawaii with Allouez resident Marilyn Gardner, the widow of Luke’s nephew, Tom Skogg.

“It’s just special to know that he will, this time, be there identified,” Gardner said.


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