You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Family fights Navy for return of WWII remains

Nov. 4, 2013 - 12:07PM   |  
  • Filed Under

GUILFORD, CONN. — A Connecticut family wants the return of the remains of a family member killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor nearly 72 years ago.

The New Haven Register reports that Tom Gray is fighting the Navy to retrieve the remains of his second cousin, 3rd Class Fireman Edwin Hopkins. He and his family want to bury Hopkins in a family cemetery in Keene, N.H., his hometown.

Hopkins’ remains were designated as unknown by the Navy and are buried in a casket in Hawaii with the remains of five other veterans. He was 19 when he was killed in the engine room on the USS Oklahoma.

The remains of five sailors were identified and returned to their families in 2002, Gray said.

“We want the same treatment for my cousin,” he said.

Trying to return Hopkins’ remains has been a “runaround,” Gray said. The family was asked to submit a DNA sample as proof of relation, which was done, he said.

“The issue is the reasons keep changing,” Gray said.

Gray said the Navy also claimed to “not want to disturb the sanctity of the graves.”

“That’s still the case,” said Sarah Flaherty, a spokeswoman for the Navy. “The grave has been disturbed a number of times. We don’t want to keep doing that.”

To help families honor the war dead, plans for a USS Oklahoma memorial are in the works, she said.

“We are committed to creating an honorable memorial and ceremony that befits the service and sacrifice of those brave men,” Flaherty said.

Gray rejected plans for a memorial for Hopkins.

“That’s not something we want,” he said. “He deserves better than this.”

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

From Our Blogs


The latest from PT365

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook