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WWII Sailor identified, buried Saturday

Posted: 5:14 PM, Nov 30, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-30 18:14:30-05

Council Bluffs, Iowa (KMTV)-- A missing sailor from World War II will finally be buried Saturday afternoon.

77-years ago, Navy Fireman 1st Class Bert McKeeman was killed at Pearl Harbor. He was on the USS Oklahoma. McKeeman was from Council Bluffs.

"He died a brave person,” Bill McKeeman, Bert’s nephew said. “He died an honorable person, he died for you and me."

Scientists at Offutt Air Force Base identified the remains; part of an ongoing project to help bring closure to families of Pearl Harbor victims.

Two years ago the McKeeman family donated DNA to project. They knew this was a possibility. Bill said he is grateful for everyone's work to make sure he isn't forgotten.

"To me what’s important is awareness,” Bill said. “Not just for my uncle for paid the ultimate sacrifice but to all veterans. The other thing I hope to say a prayer to my grandmother and grandfather tomorrow and let them know he is home."

Bert’s funeral is at 1:30 at Hoy-Kilnoski Funeral Home and Crematory in Council Bluffs. He will be buried near his parents.

Bert’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with others who are missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.