Tennessee Sailor Killed At Pearl Harbor To Be Laid To Rest

Posted at 7:36 AM, Oct 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-12 08:37:12-04

Remains of a sailor killed during World War II are being returned home to Tennessee for burial.

Gov. Bill Haslam's office says Navy Seaman 2nd Class William Campbell of Elizabethton was serving on the USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor when the Hawaii base was attacked by Japan on Dec. 7, 1941.

Crewmembers were buried in multiple cemeteries after attempts to identify remains, but only 35 men from the ship were identified. Unidentified remains were buried in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, known as the Punchbowl.

“Although the attack on Pearl Harbor remains a painful wound for our country, William’s return to be laid to rest in the state he called home is a source of comfort,” Govenor Haslam said.  “We join the Campbell family in remembering this hero and we are grateful he will soon rest under a headstone that bears his name.”

In 2015, an agency began exhuming remains from the Punchbowl for identification. Campbell was identified using DNA evidence in May.

Haslam declared a day of mourning and ordered flags at half-staff in Campbell's honor on Friday.