This weekend, the remains of a Texoma sailor will finally come home, more than 76 years after he and so many other soldiers, sailors and marines perished during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
It’s happening because of DNA testing, which has the family of Seaman First Class, James C. Solomon of Montague County, grateful and honored.
On December 7th, 1941, the USS Oklahoma’s casualties at Pearl Harbor were second only to the USS Arizona.
Of the 429 people killed on the Oklahoma that day, only 35 were identified until just recently.
“Well, I never thought it would take place in my lifetime,” Soloman’s nephew, Hardy Seay said.
Solomon’s unidentified remains, like almost all the others, were buried at the National Cemetery in Hawaii.
Now, he’ll rest in honor at the Perryman Cemetery at Forestburg.
“I think it’s a good thing that they finally identified him because I remember my mother talking about they never had any closure on J’s death,” said Solomon’s nephew, Glenn Seay.
Hardy and Glenn Seay still live in Montague County.
Hardy remembers the tremendous loss.
Hardy Seay: “My mother and my grandmother had sent him a box, fairly large box of candies, cookies and I think books when he was in Hawaii. That must have been sent somewhere around the first of December.” “That box came back because it was undeliverable. I do remember that.”
Seaman First Class Solomon will be buried with full military honors just a few miles from where he grew up on a hill outside Forestburg.
“There was a nice, big barn that they had built right in the middle of that hill and to the side a house. It was an underground house, and the hole’s still there,” said Brad Seay, Glenn Seay’s son.
“At one point, we were considering burying him at the home place up near the remains of the old house, but finally decided since this is a perpetual care cemetery, he was from Forestburg, his grandparents are here, that we would use this place,” said Hardy Seay.
It’s a peaceful area surrounded by beautiful hills and trees, where Solomon grew up and went to school.
It’s where his friends lived, and where the sounds and violence of war are far, far away.
It’s where he’s finally coming home.
Seaman First Class Solomon’s remains will be brought to Bowie Friday evening from DFW Airport in a procession joined by the North Texas Patriot Guard Riders in Decatur.
There will be another procession Saturday morning starting from White Family Funeral Home in Bowie, with Patriot Guard Riders leading, to the funeral service at 11 in the Perryman Cemetery at Forestburg.