Pearl Harbor sailor’s remains returned home to NEA

Closeup of the coffin being carried to the waiting hearse. Photo courtesy: Wings of Honor Museum

WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. – A community showed respect for a fallen serviceman from a different era Wednesday night in Walnut Ridge.

The remains of US Navy Seaman First Class Glenn Tipton were returned to his native northeast Arkansas Wednesday evening.  An Arkansas Air National Guard C-130 carried Tipton’s body from Memphis to Walnut Ridge Regional Airport, and the flag-draped coffin was carried from the plane by a military honor guard.

With June 6 serving as the anniversary for DDay, Tipton’s return reminded many of the sacrifices which were made for freedom to remain alive during the years of World Wars. The family waited almost 77 years for the return of Tipton.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese. Tipton perished when the USS Oklahoma was bombed and sunk. Tipton, along with many other sailors, was classified as missing in action. 

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. In February, 2018, Tipton’s remains were finally identified.

The 189th Airlift Wing of the Arkansas Air National Guard delivered his remains Wednesday. 

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Brett Cooper, Williams Baptist University, contributed to this report.

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