Daymond Young will be coming home Saturday; remains recovered from the Oklahoma sunk at Pearl Harbor

As the Southwest Airline touches down at the Louisville airport at 4:05 today (Thursday) Daymond Young will finally be coming back to his Kentucky home. Daymond Young was the twin brother to Daisy Young Hawkins. Daisey has passed now but her sons will be there to escort their uncle home. His nephews Lamon Jr., Harvey, and James and Jody Hawkins will be on the tarmac along with their wives, cousins, and friends to welcome him back.

There will be tears and a catch in their throats as the plane taxis to a stop and an honor guard places the casket with Daymond’s remains in a Gibson & Son hearse.

D.A. Gibson, of Gibson & Son Funeral Home, who is handling arrangements said,  “We will be met there at the Louisville airport by Rolling Thunder.” They will escort him all the way from the airport to Lewisport.”

As Daymond Young begins his journey to Lewisport, folks in Hancock County will be watching as the somber procession crosses the bridge at Hawesville, possibly waving American flags and some in tears.  Seventy-nine years after dying on the battleship Oklohoma, sunk by Japanese planes on December 7, 1941, the honor process will slowly make its way toward Daymond´s final resting place.  

Young served as a Navy Fireman 2nd class on the U.S.S. Oklahoma based at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. On the morning of December 7 the ship was parked in Battleship Row in berth Fox 7. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary on that sunny Sunday morning until just before 8 a.m. when 353 carrier aircraft from a Japanese naval fleet began to attack the base.

The Oklahoma was in one of the first berths the attacking craft came to, and immediately became a target. Three torpedoes slammed into the side of the ship which caused it to capsize and sink. Over 400 men died when the Oklahoma sank, one being Daymond Young.

The day after the attack President Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke these words to the American public, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by Japanese planes.

Many of these men were buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific because of the inability at the time to identify the men. With the advancement of DNA testing, six years ago the military began to exhume and test the remains of servicemen in an effort to identify them.
Officials requested and received DNA samples from Young’s surviving relatives in Hancock County, which included locals Harvey and Sonny Hawkins. In 2019 the military identified Young’s remains, but the COVID-19 pandemic prevented his return until now.

Rolling Thunder told Gibson they plan to bring about 200 members of their group to the memorial service for Young on Saturday. In addition to Rolling Thunder, the Sons of The American Revolution plan to attend the service, as well as members of the local VFW. “I have fielded calls from all over the state for this,” Gibson said.

Visitation at the Lewisport Funeral Home will be on Saturday, May 15, from 10:00 a.m. until services begin at 12 noon. Services will be conducted by Ryan Singleton from the Lewisport Baptist Church, Father Terry Devine from St. Columba Catholic Church and Bro. Joe Kim from the Lewisport Methodist Church. From there Damon Young’s remains will be escorted by Rolling Thunder to the Lewisport cemetery.

Many of these men were buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific because of the inability at the time to identify the men. With the advancement of DNA testing, six years ago the military began to exhume and test the remains of servicemen in an effort to identify them.
Officials requested and received DNA samples from Young’s surviving relatives in Hancock County, which included locals Harvey and Sonny Hawkins. In 2019 the military identified Young’s remains, but the COVID-19 pandemic prevented his return until now.

Rolling Thunder told Gibson they plan to bring about 200 members of their group to the memorial service for Young on Saturday. In addition to Rolling Thunder, the Sons of The American Revolution plan to attend the service, as well as members of the local VFW. “I have fielded calls from all over the state for this,” Gibson said.

Visitation at the Lewisport Funeral Home will be on Saturday, May 15, from 10:00 a.m. until services begin at 12 noon. Services will be conducted by Ryan Singleton from the Lewisport Baptist Church, Father Terry Devine from St. Columba Catholic Church and Bro. Joe Kim from the Lewisport Methodist Church. From there Damond Young’s remains will be escorted by Rolling Thunder to the Lewisport cemetery. 

By Donn Wimmer

 

 

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