WWII sailor to be buried in Wesson

Published 1:19 pm Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Today will be a proud and emotional day for one Wesson sailor’s family.

Fireman 1st Class Jim H. Johnston, who was killed 75  years ago at Pearl Harbor, will finally be laid to rest.

Johnston was on his first tour of duty and had been in the Navy about a year and a half when he was killed in Pearl Harbor. His family in Wesson considered the young man as missing in action. It took several months before it was determined he was killed in action, according to his uncle Frank Springs.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The unidentified remains of killed service members were buried in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Johnston.

But in 2015, the military began exhuming those remains in an effort to identify them. Using DNA analysis, Johnston was identified.

The sailor will be buried today and the public is invited to the funeral. The funeral procession will leave Riverwood Family Funeral Service and will arrive at the cemetery in downtown Wesson by way of Hwy. 51.

Johnston will finally be home again. For his hometown, his state and his country, it will be an opportunity to honor a sailor who paid the ultimate sacrifice. We join them in saluting Johnston.