Harold William Lindsey joined the Navy from Waxahachie, a small town just south of Dallas, Texas. Originally from California, fate would place him on the USS Oklahoma on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese Empire attacked Pearl Harbor. Navy Seaman 2nd Class Lindsey was one of the battleship’s 429 crewmembers killed in the attack. Almost 80 years later, the North Texas sailor finally returned to his family and friends.
According to a press release from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, the remains of the deceased crew were recovered by the Navy and interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries. In 1947, unidentified remains were disinterred from the two cemeteries and sent to the Central Identification Laboratory where staff was able to identify 35 men. Lindsey was not one. The unidentified remains were buried in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the Punchbowl in Honolulu.
In 2015, more advanced technology had become available, and the Navy again exhumed the unidentified USS Oklahoma crew for analysis. On June 28, 2021, Lindsey was identified using next of kin DNA.
On Nov. 5, 2021, members from the Patriot Guard Riders escorted Lindsey to his final resting place at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery. More than 50 members of the community and the Texas Society of the Sons of the Revolution attended to pay their respects and to honor this World War II hero.
“Seaman 2nd Class Lindsey played an important part in our nation’s history and we never want to forget the ultimate sacrifice he made for this country,” said Larry Williams, Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery director. “Most of the people here today may not have known him personally, but he is still our brother and we are honored to finally give him a proper burial after all these years.”
VA operates 155 national cemeteries and 34 soldiers’ lots and monument sites in 44 states and Puerto Rico. More than 5 million Americans, including Veterans of every war and conflict, are buried in VA cemeteries. Fulfilling President Lincoln’s call “to care for him who shall have borne the battle,” VA also provides headstones, markers or medallions for Veterans buried in State and Territorial Veterans cemeteries or interred in private cemeteries. For more information, call 800-535-1117 or visit www.cem.va.gov.