WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The remains of a U.S. Seaman who died at Pearl Harbor have been returned to Kansas.
U.S. Seaman 2nd Class Wilbur Clayton Barrett was born in El Dorado in 1915. When he was 25 years old, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1940.
He was serving on the USS Oklahoma when torpedoes sunk the ship at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Barrett died in the attack.
His remains were unidentified and buried in a mass grave in Oahu. His name is on the memorial there.
Four years ago, the Navy exhumed the remains of 380 troops in hopes of identifying them through DNA analysis. Barrett was identified.
“We’re just so blessed that we’re able to identify him and bring him home to add some closure for him and his family,” said Lt. John Stevens, U.S. Navy.
Thursday, his remains were flown to Wichita’s Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport. Members of the Navy stood in the pouring rain to salute his casket and give him the honor he deserves.
“Seaman Barrett finally made his journey back from the Navy,” said Command Master Chief Ryan King, USS Wichita. “He’s back here with his family.”
Full military graveside honors will be Saturday, Sept. 14, at 10 a.m. at Sunset Lawns Cemetery in El Dorado.