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Remains of WWII sailor killed at Pearl Harbor to be buried in Glen Burnie

Posted at 8:03 AM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-18 10:55:23-04

GLEN BURNIE, Md (WMAR) — 80 years later, the remains of a sailor killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor have been returned to his family in Anne Arundel County for burial.

“He was 19 years old, so much future ahead of him but he’s finally going to be with family and I think that’s important,” said his niece Linda Dowling.

Unit recently, her uncle, Seaman 1st Class William Brooks, remained unaccounted for, along with 387 other sailors and Marines.

Since 2015, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has been reexamining remains with forensic technology to reunite them with their families.

They have since identified 355 of them.

Last year, it was Brooks. A marine showed up to Dowling’s door and told her the news about her late uncle.

It set in motion a plan to get him to Maryland to be close to his family.

Last week, the veteran was flown into BWI Airport and given the dignified transfer ceremony he so deserved.

“They blew us away. We were so in awe,” said Dowling. “The thing that really got me was when that plane came in to the airport and the took the flag draped casket off the plane. That was very emotional.”

Saturday, he will be laid to rest next to his brother just days before what would have been his 100th birthday.

“I thought he should be with his brother and my dad is buried here at Glen Haven and so I wanted him to be next to him,” said Dowling.

The process of getting him home has made their family closer too.

“It makes you appreciate the people you have and how fragile life is,” said Dowling.

Dowling is grateful the military never gave up on finding him, even decades later.

“It just says so much about our country. I’ve always worked for the government and I have a lot of respect for the military and I have even more now,” said Dowling.

The ceremony will take place Saturday morning at 11 at Glen Haven Memorial Park in Glen Burnie. It’s open to the public but they are expecting large crowds so plan accordingly if you are going to pay your respects.