Nearly 75 years after he died during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the remains of Navy Fireman 3rd Class Edwin Hopkins received a proper burial.
He was buried with full military honors in his hometown of Keene, New Hampshire. His cousin said it was a day to celebrate because Hopkins finally made his way back home.
Hopkins was one of 429 men who died when the ship they were on, the USS Oklahoma, was hit by torpedoes Dec. 7, 1941, and sunk. Thirty-two men were rescued; 14 Marines and 415 sailors were killed. Many of them, including Hopkins, were buried as “unknowns” in a Hawaii cemetery.
The 19-year-old from Swanzey, New Hampshire, was tentatively identified through dental records a few years later. But it took until 2015 before a DNA match with a distant cousin provided a positive ID.
Hopkins was buried next to his parents.