Missouri man killed in Pearl Harbor attack laid to rest after remains finally identified

It wasn’t until September that DNA testing confirmed the remains were his.

Associated Press
August 06, 2020 - 1:13 pm

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Mo. (AP) — Nearly eight decades after he was killed in the attack at Pearl Harbor that launched the U.S. into World War II, a Missouri man has been laid to rest next to his parents.

KYTV-TV reports that the remains of Navy Seaman 1st Class Orval Austin Tranbarger of Mountain View were buried Wednesday. The TV station said people lined highways and streets from Willow Springs to the cemetery in Mountain View to pay their respects.

Listen Live Now on FM NewsTalk 97.1

“He’s somebody they obviously didn’t know, who was well before many of their times. It showed they love America and they love people that support America, the troops, him being one of them. Happy to see him get a welcome home,” Army Veteran Brandon Wright said.

Tranbarger was just 18 when he joined the Navy. He was stationed at the Hawaii base and was among the 429 crew members aboard the USS Oklahoma who were killed in the Japanese attack.

It wasn’t until September that DNA testing confirmed the remains were his.

Relatives, veterans and strangers attended his funeral service in the southwestern Missouri town.

“On the way here I thought, ‘Well Orval, you finally are welcomed home,’” his brother, Burl Tranbarger, said.

Burl Tranbarger, who was 2 when his brother died, accepted the American flag.

“Today has got me convinced that people do honor the fallen military. They honor our nation,” he said.