Another MN sailor who died at Pearl Harbor is coming home

His remains were identified after 75 years
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Navy Fireman Third Class Kenneth L. Holm will make his final journey next week. 

Holm was aboard the USS Oklahoma when it became the first American ship attacked by Japanese troops at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. 

The 29-year-old from Clarkfield, Minnesota, went down with the ship, as did 428 other U.S. service members. 

Holm's remains were recently identified 75 years after the attack and the Navy announced this week they'll be flown to the Twin Cities on Tuesday. Holm will be buried with full military honors at Fort Snelling National Cemetery on Wednesday, August 9. 

Decades as an "unknown"

It took nearly three years for the Navy to recover the remains of the sailors and Marines who died aboard the Oklahoma. But in those days they were not able to make matches between the skeletal remains and the names on the list of those killed, Stars and Stripes explains

So all the remains were classified as "unknowns" and interred together at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, a site in Honolulu that was nicknamed the Punch Bowl. 

That's how things stayed for more than 70 years. The science of using DNA to identify remains made big strides during that time, though. So in 2015 the Pentagon said the unknowns aboard the Oklahoma would be disinterred and analyzed by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

Gradually, the remains are being identified and returned to their home states for burial. Just a couple weeks ago another Minnesota sailor who went down with the Oklahoma – Navy Fireman First Class Elmer Kerestes – was buried in his hometown of Holdingford.

Burial Wednesday

Captain Nathaniel Strandquist, the commanding officer at the Navy Operational Support Center in Minneapolis, said in a statement this week: “Bringing our fallen home to their final resting place is a sacred obligation that our nation takes seriously, no matter how much time may have passed."

Stranquist says the sailors under his command are honored to provide full honors and they hope Wednesday's ceremony will bring closure to the Holm family. 

Wednesday's funeral will be at 2 p.m.

In 2008 the Navy provided a headstone for a grave at the Holm family's cemetery plot in Clarkfield, a town of fewer than 900 people in southwestern Minnesota's Yellow Medicine County.

Next Up

PD Shimmers closeup

Man with Parkinson's lights up Plymouth with synchronized light show

"The best medicine I have for my disease is what I try to do with the light show," Mike Justak said.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

flickr-mall-of-america-mitchell-hirsch-march-2019

When do stores open on Black Friday this year?

Many major retailers will be open Black Friday, some for extended hours.

police tape, crime scene

Man found dead outside home near Cass Lake

The man was reportedly shot outside the property.

Minnesota_Welcome_Sign_-_Minnesota_Welcomes_You_-_Taylors_Falls_(28269804891)

Gov. Walz announces $1M in grants to boost Minnesota tourism

The money will be used for marketing efforts to attract people to Minnesota's hard-hit tourist spots.

coronavirus, ICU

Nov. 25 COVID-19 update: 72 deaths ties Minnesota's single-day high

A COVID-19 update will not be provided on Thanksgiving Day.

Texa-Tonka

Revival to open its fourth Twin Cities location

The fried chicken and smoked meat maestros are moving to St. Louis Park.

Related

Minnesotan killed in attack on Pearl Harbor is coming home 76 years later

Navy Fireman First Class Elmer Kerestes was aboard the USS Oklahoma

Small-town MN marching band part of big Pearl Harbor ceremony

On the 75th anniversary of the attack at Pearl Harbor a Minnesota high school band will be part of the ceremonies

73 years later, a World War II soldier is awarded his medals

His remains are headed home after they were identified in an unmarked grave.

73 years later, a World War II soldier is awarded his medals

His remains are headed home after they were identified in an unmarked grave.

Navy sailor from Stillwater missing in Connecticut

The 24 year old hasn't been seen since Apr. 17.

A tiny Minnesota town is getting its war hero back

There'll be a funeral for him more than 75 years after he died.