76 years later, a sailor returns from Pearl Harbor

Glaydon Iverson, an Emmons, Minn., native, is coming home on Thursday.

He was aboard the USS Oklahoma, moored in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

He was never identified — most of the 400 who were killed on his ship weren’t — until a few months ago, though it was clear he was likely dead, the first Freeborn County casualty of World War II.

It’s been 76 years and authorities are still trying to identify the victims of the Pearl Harbor attack through DNA. But it requires a sample from surviving family members who had to be on his mother’s side.

In 2011, two cousins once removed gave a DNA sample, but because there wasn’t money allocated for the effort, nothing happened until 2015 when the search began anew, the Austin Daily Herald says.

Gary Iverson, Glaydon’s nephew, says the years of not knowing have been hard on the family. He almost gave away the burial plot in the cemetery.

On Thursday, Glaydon’s remains will arrive by escort at Minneapolis St. Paul Airport, and driven to a funeral home in Lake Mills for visitation. And on Saturday, the plot will finally be used.

  • Al

    Probably depends on a sailor having survived to now, and able to articulate their wishes to return to PH, versus having died on the ship, and the family requesting them to be buried close to the family.

  • jon

    I had the same initial thought about some people going back to pearl harbor to be buried… But, I think the USS Arizona is a special case, mostly because it’s still there, still sunk, now serving as a final resting place and memorial… The Oklahoma was salvaged (briefly) and is no longer in pearl harbor (sunk on it’s way back to the mainland.)

    The Utah is also still in pearl harbor, so it might also have similar rules to the arizona… I don’t really know.