A U.S. sailor who died on a battleship that sank during the attack on Pearl Harbor was reportedly buried Thursday with full military honors.
The remains of Wallace Eakes, who served on the USS Oklahoma when he was 22 years old, were buried at Colorado’s Fort Logan National Cemetery after being positively identified in 2017 by the Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, The Associated Press reported.
Eakes’ previously unidentified remains had reportedly been buried once before at Honolulu’s National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
A relative of the veteran, Gary Eakes, told the outlet that he had been shocked upon learning about his uncle’s remains. He said he ultimately chose to have them reburied in Colorado since Eakes' parents and sister, who had lived Kansas, had relocated there and are buried in a private cemetery around Denver.
"When I talked to my grandparents (Wallace Eakes' parents), they never said what to do if they found him," Gary Eakes said. "I'm just kind of hoping that's what they wanted. That's the best I could do."
Photos from the event show service members folding an American flag that was draped over Eakes’ casket. The flag was later given to Gary.
The veteran had been a Navy Storekeeper Third Class on the USS Oklahoma, according to the National Cemetery Administration’s Twitter account, which also shared a photo of Eakes' headstone.
“Eakes was killed in action while serving onboard USS Oklahoma, when it was torpedoed on Dec 7, 1941, during the attack on Pearl Harbor,” the post said.
He was among 429 sailors and Marines who died onboard the ship after it was attacked, according to The Associated Press.
Of the Oklahoma's dead, 388 were reportedly buried as unknowns in Honolulu.
In 2015, the Pentagon exhumed their remains in hopes of identifying 80 percent of them, the outlet said, adding that some of the remains, especially those burned to ash, will never be identified.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.