FESSENDEN, N.D. — A North Dakota sailor killed more than 75 years ago when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor is finally coming home.
The remains of Gunners Mate 1st Class Arthur Clarence Neuenschwander were recently identified through DNA testing and are scheduled to arrive at the Fargo airport on Wednesday. A public memorial service will be held in Fessenden on June 24.
"Arthur was the first of the Neuenschwander family to leave Fessenden, and the last to come home," his nephew, Ross Johnson, said in a statement.
Neuenschwander was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was docked at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked by Japanese aircraft on Dec. 7, 1941. He was 32 at the time.
Navy personnel recovered the remains of the ship's crew from 1941 to 1944, and buried them in two Honolulu cemeteries. The remains of U.S. causalities were disinterred from the two cemeteries in 1947, and transferred to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks.
But lab workers were only able to confirm the identities of 35 men at the time. The unidentified remains were buried in Honolulu.
The unidentified remains were recently identified through DNA analysis, circumstantial evidence and dental comparisons as part of a Department of Defense effort in 2015.
Johnson said he, his brother, his mother and his uncle gave DNA samples to the Navy to help identify the remains. The family received a phone call from the U.S. Navy in February that Neuenschwander's body had been identified.