Michigan man killed in Pearl Harbor to receive military burial - WNEM TV 5

Michigan man killed in Pearl Harbor to receive military burial

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

He made the ultimate sacrifice on a date which will live in infamy, but for years his remains had not been identified.

On May 20 he will finally be able to return to his home in Michigan and receiver a proper burial.

A local woman learned her uncle's remains have been found more than 75 years later. Now she's learning all she can about the hero in her family.

"He was on board the USS Oklahoma at the time of his death," said Sue Nichols, great-niece of Fred Jones.

The last record of Jones' military record ends Dec. 7, 1941.

"I wasn't  even born when this happened. I did hear a few stories through the years, but my memory is not good. But I'm learning an awful lot about him right now," Nichols said.

She recently learned remains found in the Pacific Ocean aboard the USS Oklahoma - one of the ships that capsized during the attack on Pearl Harbor - were those of her great uncle.

The Navy was able to determine his identity all these years later through data testing, finally giving his family some closure.

"I was just flabbergasted, It was overwhelming really to think they could do that after all these years," Nichols said.

Jones was a Navy man who began his military career at just 16-years-old. He earned many medals, including the Purple Heart.

He was 30-years-old when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

"When you're 16 you think you're invincible. I'm sure he thought that too," Nichols said.

Nichols is holding on to things that connect her to her uncle.

"It's heartwarming and yet you feel very sad about it. It's just too bad all of that had to happen to all those men, it's a shame," Nichols said.

She hopes more of her family can learn about Jones' legacy and that all appreciate what was lost that day.

"That they have more compassion for the men that fight for us, every one of us. They shouldn't belittle them, treat them with no respect. They should be very respectful," Nichols said.

Nichols is giving her uncle a full military burial on May 20 in Port Huron.

She said after hearing the discovery, Jones' granddaughter is flying all the way from Seattle to attend the service.

His remains will arrive in Detroit on May 19 and be accompanied by a military escort, motorcycles and law enforcement.

The burial will take place at Lakeside Cemetery, 3663 10th Ave. in Port Huron, at 1 p.m. on May 20. Military honors will be conducted under the auspices of the U.S. Navy.

The public is welcome to attend.

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