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George Wilcox Comes Home: Hoosier Remains Return From Pearl Harbor

Wilcox was presumed lost for nearly 80 years, until a DNA test.

EVANSVILLE, Ind.--George Wilcox, Jr., was 19 when he was killed on Dec. 7, 1941, the day that will live in infamy, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He was serving as a Navy seaman on the U.S.S. Oklahoma. Wilcox was presumed lost, but his body was not positively identified.

Yesterday, he came home. That was thanks to a DNA test that confirmed his remains had been kept by the Navy for 76 years.

"When I got the phone call about a year and a half ago to give my DNA, I didn't think much of it," said his nephew, David Wilcox, who was in Louisville to receive the remains, which were then escorted to Evansville with an escort by Kentucky and then Indiana State Police.

"We got a phone call about two months ago, saying that he's coming home."

Wilcox was actually born in Mississippi, but became a Hoosier at a young age. He joined the Navy at 17.

"He's very special to our family," said Wilcox. "We want to give a special thanks to the Navy for making all this happen."

The Navy is making sure Wilcox gets the proper burial today, with full military honors.

"I just wish that my dad was here to see all this," said Wilcox. He said it would have been a special time for the people in his family who knew George Wilcox.

Thinkstic/Marian Vejcik

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