Kentucky sailor killed in WWII identified


FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Kentucky sailor killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor will be laid to rest next month.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency says the remains of Navy Fireman 1st Class Billy J. Johnson, of Caney, have been positively identified.

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Johnson was 22-years-old when he was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft on December 7, 1941.

Johnson was one of 429 crewmen killed when the USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, causing it to quickly capsize.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the crew, which were then interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In 2015, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency personnel exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknown remains from the Punchbowl for DNA analysis.

Johnson’s remains were among those identified.

Johnson will be buried August 19, 2019, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.