'We're proud.' Two Kentucky sailors killed at Pearl Harbor in 1941 coming home.

Floyd Helton wanted to learn a trade and he joined the U.S. Navy in 1940. He was just 17 years old when he asked his parents for permission.He asked his mother but she refused. He turned to Herbert Helton of Pulaski County for help. Herbert was divorced from his mom.Helton was formally enlisted by his father in June 1941. Six months later, Helton was killed on the USS Oklahoma after Japanese warplanes struck the battleship with multiple bombs.His father, who was killed in 1996, left him with some guilt for the rest of his days.Vicki Easley, Vicki's half-sister to Floyd Heltons, said that he kind of felt responsible. He felt sadness, and that was what he carried with him.Helton and Stanley Owsley, a sailor from Kentucky, who were both killed on the Oklahoma are returning home 80 years later.Floyd D. Helton of Somerset, Ky. was killed onboard the USS Oklahoma during the Pearl Harbor attack in World War II. In Jube 2021, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that his remains were identified.Helton, who was born in Somerset, and Owsley (from Paris) were among the 429 USS Oklahoma sailors who died at Pearl Harbor. According to the Navy, they were not recovered until 1944, when workers fixed the ship.Only 35 men were able to be identified initially. Helton, aged 18 at the time of his death, and Owsley weren't among them and were buried in Hawaii with other unknowns.In 1947, the military exhumed the bodies, but failed to identify them. They reburied the remains in 1950 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific and disinterred them again in 2015.The effort was made much easier by advances in DNA technology. According to the Navy, 300 people had been identified by January 2021.Owsley, Helton and others were identified last year. However, the Navy has only recently made the announcement publicly.Betty Short, one Linville's granddaughters, stated that Owsleys sister Mary Ida Owsley Linville missed him deeply.Linville was two years younger than her brother, and they were very close. Linville donated a DNA sample for the identification process. She died in May 2020, at the age of 104.Continue the storyLast fall, Owsleys' family was notified by the Navy of their identification.It was bittersweet that she didn't live to find him, Short, who lives in Richmond, said about her grandmother.Short stated that Owsley had always wanted to be a successful entrepreneur after growing up on a Bourbon County farm.Stanley Owsley, a Parisian, was killed aboard the USS Oklahoma during the attack on Pearl Harbor. In June 2021, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that Owsley's remains had been identified.According to the Navy, he enlisted in Navy in May 1938. He had been promoted many times before the Pearl Harbor attack.Linville, Linville's sister, heard on the radio the Oklahoma had been hit at Pearl Harbor. Short knew that Owsley was to be assigned to the ship.A few days later, his family received a message by telegram that he was missing. Then, before the month expired, another telegram informed him that he was dead. He was 23 years old.Short stated that my great-grandmother believed her heart would never again be full.Short stated that her grandmother wondered if her brother's body was lost in the ocean, or if it was one of the unknown sailors buried at Hawaii.Short stated that knowing he had been identified would have meant everything to her to be able to bring him home.This photo shows torpedo strikes on battleships during the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.Owsley's remains will be cremated, and interred with his sister on August 5.Short stated that my grandmother would have liked this. We were blessed to have him. We were proud of him serving our country.Easley stated that her mother Louise Helton Valentour (who was 10 when her brother died) was delighted to hear that Helton was identified. She is now 91.Helton's father asked his children to do everything they could to bring him home, if that ever happened.Carroll Helton, Floyd Helton's half-brother took over the responsibility. Helton kept records and submitted DNA samples for the identification process.Before Easley's death, Carroll Helton handed the paperwork to Easleys mom. She was the Navy contact point and assisted in the arrangements for Easley's funeral.Multiple torpedoes struck the battleship USS Oklahoma during the attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 2021, and it sank.Easley promised her dad that she would bring Floyd Helton's body home. She is glad that this is happening, and she can see it through.Helton will be buried with his father July 31 at Sloans Valley in southern Pulaski county.Gov. Andy Beshear stated that he will command flags to be reduced to half-staff for the funerals of Owsley and Helton.Beshear stated in a statement that for almost 80 years the families of sailors who lost their lives on the Oklahoma were able to mourn their loved ones only from afar.Beshear stated that the military's persistence in identifying them helped the Kentucky sailors finally return home.