GREENVILLE, S.C. — The remains of a South Carolina man killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor have been buried nearly 76 years later.

Navy Seaman First Class Milton Reece Surratt was a 19-year-old cook on the USS Oklahoma when torpedoes sank the battleship Dec. 7, 1941. Surratt was among 429 crewmen to die. But his body was not identified, and he was officially missing in action — until recently, when the federal Defense POW MIA Accounting Agency matched his remains to family members’ DNA.

Surratt’s remains were buried with full military honors Friday in the Mauldin First Baptist Church cemetery.

Surratt’s niece, Shirley Watkins, says she remembers the Christmas Eve telegram that told the family he was missing.

His 99-year-old cousin, John Baldwin, says he’s elated his cousin is finally home.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.