PARIS, Ky. (WTVQ) – On the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941, 23 year old Alphard S Owsley lost his life with the rest of his shipmates aboard the USS Oklahoma.
Thousands of miles and several decades away, his relatives say his memory has been kept alive alive, especially by his sister. Owsley’s great niece BJ Linville short says her grandmother, never lost hope
“He’s always been the family hero. We’ve always cherished his memory. My grandmother was always very close to him and we knew she wanted to bring him home,” says short.
Last year, the navy got in touch with Owsley’s family to submit DNA samples. It wasn’t long before a match was made. Owsley’s sister died before getting to see her brother come home, however on Thursday he was buried next to her in the Paris-Bourbon County Cemetery. This was something the family says she would have wanted. Owsley’s remains were escorted back to his hometown in Paris Kentucky by state police, Rolling Thunder Kentucky Chapter Five and the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Department. His family received a folded flag and a plaque with his medals and honors. Governor Andy Beshear ordered flags at all state buildings lowered to half staff from sunrise to sunset. While it seems like a sad occasion, the family is overjoyed Owsley is home at last. Short says she hopes other families with missing sailors can one day experience this same joy she knows her grandmother would feel if alive today.
“I can’t imagine not knowing where you’re loved one was for all those years so its very special,” says Short.
Rolling Thunder Kentucky Chapter Five says there’s still two sailors that they plan on burying and honoring this year. For more information you can click the link here.