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Harvard WWII veteran finally gets proper burial 80-years-later

Updated: May. 15, 2021 at 8:37 PM CDT
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HARVARD, Neb. (KSNB) - 80-years-later WWII Veteran Charles “Alan” Jones finally got a proper burial in his hometown of Harvard.

“It’s just nice to have him home,” said Jones’s Nephew Robert Stett.

Jones’s Niece Janice Domeier never met him but their family always talked about him.

“My cousin and I learned about him when we were old enough to understand,” Domeier said.

In fact, Domeier’s cousin Robert Stett was named after him.

“My middle name is Alan and actually Robert is named after a Robert Young who was a soldier on the Oklahoma with Alan,” Stett said.

The USS Oklahoma was bombed during the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, killing 429 people including Alan on the ship. His body was never recovered.

“My mother was early twenties, my aunt was still probably 18,19, so you lose your mother and then two to three weeks later you find out you’ve lost your brother, I can’t imagine what they went through,” Domeier said.

Generations later a miracle happened, Stett received a phone call about a body believed to be Alan, was found. The remains from the ship was sent to Offutt Air Force Base, south of Omaha for analysis.

“Navy contacted me about two-years-ago and wanted to know if I would be willing to give a DNA to him,” Stett said.

Stett agreed and the results revealed they were a match.

“It’s almost surreal, you’ve heard about him, you think you know him but then you stop and think, no I never met him,” Domeier said.

The family finally got to say goodbye after all these years on Saturday, as dozens of friends, family and even strangers welcomed him home.

“He graduated from Harvard. The V.F.W is named after him here in Harvard, so it’s an honor to have him home,” Stett said.

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