Minnesota Veteran Killed at Pearl Harbor Returns Home

The USS Oklahoma circa 1917.

EMMONS, Minn. – DNA analysis has identified a Minnesotan man killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor will be buried in his hometown Saturday after 74 years away.

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Glaydon I.C. Iverson, 24, returned home Thursday at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, reports the Pioneer Press. He then headed to the small town of Emmons on Minnesota’s border with Iowa.

A full-honors military funeral will be held for Iverson at his family plot at Oak Lawn Cemetery. The funeral service is planned for 1:30 p.m. at Emmons Lutheran Church. Prior to this, a visitation will be held Friday afternoon from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Mittelstadt Funeral Home.

Iverson died on Dec. 7, 1941, aboard the USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor. His remains had been laid at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific where they had gone unidentified for more than 74 years. Recent efforts to use DNA analysis and other technology aided scientists’ efforts to determine the identity of previously unidentified remains, including Iverson’s.

“This is a tremendous honor for us,” Capt. Nathaniel Strandquist, commanding officer of the Naval Operations Support Center Minneapolis told the Pioneer Press. “Being able to serve our fallen shipmates that have served honorably, and helping bring closure to their family is one of the most important duties we do here.”

Iverson’s identification is part of a broader operation to bring unidentified remains back to their homes. In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense directed the disinterment of unknown persons who were affiliated with the USS Oklahoma. The Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency began analyzing the remains shortly afterward. Iverson was identified in late 2016 by scientists via a combination of DNA analysis, circumstantial evidence, and dental comparisons.

The USS Oklahoma was struck by several torpedoes and capsized, reports the Navy Times. Iverson was one of nearly 430 people killed as a result.

Anders Koskinen