SEVERE WX : Flood Warning View Alerts
CLOSINGS: View Closings

A sailor returns home: Fillmore County man brought home after being killed in Pearl Harbor

Seaman First Class Johnson was killed at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Posted: Jul. 7, 2018 10:47 PM
Updated: Jul. 8, 2018 8:42 AM

RUSHFORD, Minn. - Over 76 years after he was killed in Pearl Harbor and his remains were declared unrecoverable and unidentifiable, a sailor from Rushford is returning to his hometown.

Through new technology, Joseph M. Johnson's remains were identified through mitochondrial DNA, which is traced through the maternal side of the family. Johnson's nephew Dennis Rislove gave a DNA sample that helped identify Johnson's remains.

"Nobody ever expected this to happen. He was declared unrecoverable and that's the way it sat for many years," explains Rislove.

The only family member alive today who knew Joe is his 99-year-old brother-in-law.

The Rushford community held a funeral service for Joe at Rushford Lutheran Church and burried him in the Rushford Lutheran Cemetary next to his parents and close to his sisters.

"The opportunity for something like this to happen even 76 years later its really a promise well kept," says U.S. Navy Captain Nathaniel Strandquist. "As a nation, we ask our soldiers, sailor, airmen, and marines to put their lives on the line and in some cases, like with Seaman First Class Johnson, that price is paid in full."

Rislove tells KIMT he is appreciative of the U.S. Navy and Government for their dedication to identifying these sailors' remains when the technology became available. "They've always believed no man left behind."

Johnson is the fifth Minnesota sailor from the U.S.S. Oklahoma to be identified.

Article Comments

Mason City
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 36°
Albert Lea
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 41°
Austin
Overcast
39° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 36°
Charles City
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 36°
Rochester
Overcast
39° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 33°
Clouds and light rain will continue to fill in tonight, making for a soggy Sunday.
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

BRACKET CRUSHED

Image

Stretch Your Inch

Image

BULLS DEFEAT BLIZZARD

Image

NCAA WRESTLING CHAMPS

Image

TROJANS FOREVER

Image

Tracking Sunday Morning Rain

Image

Tracking Rain Showers Moving In

Image

Free speech on college campuses

Image

Tracking Our Lovely Weekend Start and A Few Drops of Rain

Image

Car fire in Rochester

Community Events