MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Seventy-six years after he died in the attack on Pearl Harbor, the remains of a Minnesota sailor are finally home.
Quentin Gifford was a Radioman aboard the USS Oklahoma when it sunk in the attack that dragged us into World War II.
Now, Gifford’s surviving siblings are finally being allowed to pay their respects. WCCO’s Bill Hudson was on the tarmac when the sailor’s flag-draped casket arrived from Hawaii.
Quentin Gifford is now the fourth sailor from Minnesota whose remains were identified through DNA, and returned to family back here in Minnesota. And despite the seven decades of delay, it was extremely emotional.
The plane carrying his casket arrived at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport at around 4:30 Friday afternoon from Honolulu. That’s where his unidentified remains were buried until DNA technology ended the mystery.
His brother and sister were on hand as the plane was greeted with a water cannon salute. Finally, the young man from Mankato who went to fight for his country was finally home.
“They would’ve been overwhelmed just like we are. He deserves to be here. He deserves this,” Julie Schoen, Gifford’s sister, said.
From here, his casket was escorted with honors to Woodbury, where the VFW will be on hand.
Saturday at 9:30 a.m., there will be a service at the Fort Snelling chapel followed by burial at Fort Snelling at 11 a.m.