Navy seaman killed at Pearl Harbor laid to rest in in Mountain View, Mo.
Seaman 1st Class Orval Tranbarger was killed aboard the USS Oklahoma on December 7, 1941
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Mo. (KY3) - 78 years after being killed in the attacks at Pearl Harbor, a service member from Mountain View, Missouri was laid to rest Wednesday afternoon, next to his parents.
“We said, why not bring him home,” Burl Tranbarger, younger brother of Orval, told KY3.
Navy Seaman 1st Class Orval Austin Tranbarger got his long-awaited homecoming Wednesday.
Patriotic Americans, paying their respects, lined highways and streets from Willow Springs, through downtown Mountain View, all the way to Chapel Hill Cemetery.
“This is our hometown. This is where he was from and I think it’s just a wonderful thing,” Sandy Pruett said.
“He’s somebody they obviously didn’t know, who was well before many of their times. It showed they love America and they love people that support America, the troops, him being one of them. Happy to see him get a welcome home,” Army Veteran Brandon Wright added.
Tranbarger joined the Navy a day after turning 18.
He was one of 429 crewmen killed aboard the USS Oklahoma during the surprise attack by Japan.
But his remains weren’t identified until last September using advanced DNA testing.
Surrounded by family, veterans and strangers, Tranbarger was laid to rest next to his parents at Chapel Hill Cemetery, just five miles from where he grew up.
“On the way here I thought, well Orval, you’re finally are welcomed home,” his brother Burl explained.
His younger brother Burl, who was two when Orval was killed, accepted the folded American flag.
“Today has got me convinced that people do honor the fallen military. They honor our nation,” Tranbarger stated.
78 years after leaving, the native son is back home.
“We thank you for your sacrifice and America loves you,” Wright said.
Tranbarger’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are still missing from World War Two. A rosette has been placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
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