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Word War II Navy Fireman Remains Identified And Returns Home To Holdingford

07/25/2017 - 2:50 AM

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Word War II Navy Fireman Remains Identified And Returns Home To Holdingford

A Pearl Harbor naval man is finally coming home.

According to Veterans Service Officer Cory Vaske, Navy Fireman First Class Elmer Kerestes will be buried with full military honors at 10:30 a.m. on July 29 at Highland Cemetery near Holdingford.

Kerestes was killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941 on the USS Oklahoma. He was one of the first Minnesotans killed in Word War 2. The Oklahoma suffered the second most casualties that day, while it was struck by multiple torpedoes and capsized killing a total of 429 servicemen.

In 1941, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the crew but unfortunately they were only able to identify 35 of the recovered remains.

In 2015 Navy personnel exhumed all unknown remains from the USS Oklahoma for analysis and earlier this year Kerestes' remains were identified through a DNA test.

Kerestes will return to Minnesota around July 27 at Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport. He will be escorted by police, the Patriot Guard, Legion Riders and family members to the Patton-Schad Funeral home in Melrose. On the day of the funeral the procession will leave from Melrose at 9:45 a.m. and travel to Holdingford where the Highland Cemetery is located.

Northbound traffic on County Road 9 near the cemetery will be for official funeral use only and southbound traffic will be open. Parking will be at Holdingford High School and the Township shop on Highway 9. There will be shuttles from both parking sites.

Kerestes' family will have food and refreshments after the service at Holdingford American Legion.

Kerestes returns home to a town where VFW Post 5160 and a local war memorial have the honor of baring his name.

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