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Kentucky sailor killed at Pearl Harbor to be buried in Corbin today; flags at half-staff

Gov. Matt Bevin has directed that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff on Saturday in honor of a Kentucky sailor who was killed in action during World War II, but whose remains were only recently identified.

Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Ulis C. Steely, 25, of Corbin, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Steely.

After being buried in Hawaii for many years, in 2015 DPAA personnel exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknowns for analysis. To identify Steely’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental, DNA and anthropological analysis.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,674 still unaccounted for from World War II, of which approximately 30,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable. Steely’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the National Cemetery of the Pacific, known as The Punchbowl , along with the others who are missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Steely will be buried on Saturday at Corinth Cemetery in Corbin.

All individuals, businesses, organizations, and government agencies are encouraged to join in this tribute of lowering the flag to honor Steely.

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