The remains of a northern Missouri Navy sailor return home today – 77 years after being killed in the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Second Class Harold Loyd Head of Laclede was on the USS Oklahoma when it was hit by several torpedoes and capsized, killing 429 Sailors and Marines, including Head.
It took years to locate their remains and most were buried as “Unknown”. In 2015, permission was received to exhume the graves for possible identification. On September 26, 2017, a report was issued and Head’s remains were identified.
Laclede Mayor Larry Smith says it is an honor to be part of Head’s service.
“There’s been a monument put up in their memory at the corner of the cemetery back in early 1951. So now, at least one of the remains of one of the boys that was lost has been brought back home,” he tells Missourinet affiliate KCHI in Chillicothe.
Smith says the town expects a large turnout today.
“The VFW and American Legion will be participating in some of the ceremonies,” he says. “We have areas marked for the Freedom Riders. We don’t know if we are going to have 25 Freedom Riders or 200 of them.”
Today, on what would be his 97th birthday, Head’s remains will travel under a full formal procession from Parkville to Laclede. The procession leaves Parkville at 10:30 a.m. and is expected to arrive in Laclede around 1:00 p.m.
Head will be laid to rest with full military honors.