Nearly 80 years after he was killed in Pearl Harbor attack, fallen Alabama seaman returns home to Alabama

Published 11:03 am Friday, October 18, 2019

A funeral is being held for an Alabama seaman killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor nearly 80 years ago.

New outlets report the graveside service is planned for Johnnie Cornelius Laurie of Bessemer. He was a 25-year-old Navy mess attendant aboard the battleship Oklahoma when it was hit by multiple torpedoes on Dec. 7, 1941.

More than 400 crew members died, and many of their bodies were interred in cemeteries in Hawaii. Laurie’s remains were among those that couldn’t initially be identified.

The military recovered remains in 2015 and began using DNA testing and other methods for identification. The Navy says Laurie’s remains were identified earlier this year.

Laurie’s only living brother, Elmer White, says he’s glad his brother is home.

Saturday would have been Laurie’s 103rd birthday.