An Oklahoma sailor killed in the Pearl Harbor Bombing in 1941 has finally been laid to rest.
“I decided to bring him home. That is where all heroes belong,” said Bill Ashworth.
Navy Fireman First Class James Webb was his uncle. Webb was a farm boy with dreams of seeing a bigger world and serving his country. So, he joined the Navy.
“In those days, Men were real patriots. If they were not patriots, they got ignored really fast,” Ashworth said.
Webb was on board the USS Oklahoma when it was bombed December 7, 1941. Pearl Harbor Day. A day that will live in infamy.
We will never know exactly how he died. Or what his final thoughts were. Only that he died with honor.
“He maned his post. He did what he was supposed to do. Under horrible circumstances with torpedoes hitting his ship with 500-pound bombs blowing up within yards of him, he did what he was supposed to do. And I can’t think of any better way or the qualification for that then to say the man was a hero,” said Rear Admiral Gene Price, United States Navy.
Through DNA, Webb’s remains were identified and he was returned to his family.
Wednesday, dozens of people who never met Webb honored him under cloudy skies in a tiny cemetery.
His family was presented a folded flag on behalf of a grateful nation. And a young hero, finally laid to rest in his native Oklahoma.
“This is America. That’s what it’s all about in America. We hear a lot of other stuff but that doesn’t count. This is America,” Ashworth said. “Thank God for this day. I see Americans standing shoulder to shoulder in strong support of those who have gone before us.”