Remains of Kansas sailor killed during Pearl Harbor returned home


ELLSWORTH, Kan. (KSNW) – The remains of a Cleveland, Kansas man who was killed in the World War II attack on Pearl Harbor returned home after being identified.

Navy Fireman First Class Walter Belt Jr., 25, died when the USS Oklahoma was attacked by Japanese aircraft on Dec. 7, 1941. The boat capsized, resulting in 429 deaths, including Belt.

Belt will be buried on Saturday, Oct. 9, in Ellsworth.

The remains of servicemen who could not be identified were interred in plots at the National Memorial Cemetery in the Pacific, known as the punchbowl in Honolulu.

Belt’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis to identify the remains.

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