WWII Pearl Harbor Sailor from Milton to be Finally Laid to Rest in Madison Friday & Saturday

April 25, 2019


From the Madison Courier’s Staff Report:

The procession carrying the remains of Navy Fireman 3rd Class Willard I. Lawson, of Milton, Kentucky, who died Dec. 7, 1941, will move from the Louisville airport Friday night to the I-71 Campbellsburg exit and continue through the towns and countryside of Trimble County to Madison, where Lawson will be laid to rest Saturday at Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery.

Lawson’s remains are expected to arrive at the airport about 6 p.m.

The procession is expected to travel through Trimble County between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., according to a post on the Trimble County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page.

The sheriff’s department will participate in the escort with the Patriot Guard.

The route from the Campbellsburg exit to Madison will be U.S. 421.

After the procession crosses the Madison-Milton bridge, it will be joined by Indiana law enforcement agencies and honor guards.

It will continue on U.S. 421 to Clifty Drive, where it will turn left and proceed until it reaches Michigan Road, where it will turn right.

The procession will end at the Lytle-Welty Funeral Homes Vail Chapel at 117 Holt Drive.

The procession will leave the Lytle-Welty Vail Chapel at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and travel south on Michigan Road to Clifty Drive, where it will turn right.

The procession will remain on Clifty Drive to Indiana 7, where it will turn left and stay on Indiana 7 to the cemetery at 1415 North Gate Road.

Services at the cemetery, which will be conducted by the United States Navy, are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

After decades of work to identify the fallen U.S. personnel of the WWII Pacific Theater, Lawson was identified August 27, 2018.

A news release from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said Lawson, then 25, was killed while assigned to the U.S.S. Oklahoma battleship, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when Japanese aircraft attacked the naval base.

The Oklahoma sustained significant damage after multiple torpedo strikes, causing the vessel to capsize quickly.

The accounting agency said the attack resulted in 429 crewmen deaths, including Lawson.