H/T WAPT 16 News.

R.I.P.U.S. Navy Fireman 1st Class Jim H. Johnston. Hand Salute.


U.S. Navy Fireman 1st Class Jim H. Johnston killed in attack on USS Oklahoma



The body of U.S. Navy Fireman 1st Class Jim H. Johnston has been returned home to Mississippi 75 years after he was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

 The body arrived Tuesday morning at the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport, where a ceremony was held. Johnston’s body was loaded in a hearse and was to escorted from Jackson to Wesson.

Johnston was aboard the USS Oklahoma when it was attacked at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, by Japanese dive bombers, torpedo planes and two-man submarines. The USS Oklahoma capsized, killing 429 — the majority of whom were sailors and U.S. Marines. Many of those killed were never identified.

“Initially we didn’t have the technology to identify all the remains, and they were buried in unknown graves on Hawaii,” said U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Carol Lynch. “Now, with the technology, we have been able to identify some of the remains. As we were doing that, the Department of Defense has reached out to family members, and as we identify them, we’re giving the opportunity to bring their loved ones home and to have them (buried) closer to home.”

Johnston’s body was identified last year, authorities said.

“That was a big deal for the city of Wesson to have someone that died in Pearl Harbor, and here he is coming home 75 years to the day after he died. That’s a tremendous thing,” said Wesson native Julia Hodges. “He was a redheaded boy and my aunt, Lucille, who was in class (with Johnson), remembers his sweet smile. She went to school with him for 10 years. She only has fond memories of him and his family. It was such a small community. Everybody knew everybody.”

Johnston will be buried Wednesday, on Pearl Harbor Day, at Wesson Cemetery. A graveside service will be held with full U.S. Navy military honors.