Man who died during Pearl Harbor laid to rest in Siouxland

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SMITHLAND, Iowa (KCAU) – The remains of a man who died while serving in the Navy during World War II were reburied in Woodbury County.

The Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs Office said the remains of Fireman 1st Class Wesley Brown, a man who died while aboard the USS Oklahoma, were transported to Smithland Cemetary for a burial on August 28.

Navy Fireman Wesley Brown (Photo Courtesy of Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs Office)

Brown was a native of Montana but enlisted in the Navy in Des Moines at the age of 13. A Navy fireman is in charge of creating watches and minor repairs with a focus on engineering. He died at the age of 25 on December 7, 1941, during the Pearl Harbor attack.

According to the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency (DPAA), the USS Oklahoma was attacked by a Japanese aircraft and multiple torpedo hits before capsizing. Brown was among 429 crew members that died as a result.

Pearl Harbor attack: This image features USS West Virginia, USS Tennesse, and USS Arizona (Photo Courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration)

Scientists from the DPAA were able to identify Brown after analyzing remains from the unknown crew members from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

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