MANDAN, N.D. — North Dakota native and U.S. Navy Fireman 2nd Class Albert Renner is headed home.
His remains were identified at Pearl Harbor almost 80 years after he was killed when the USS West Virginia was hit by two bombs and at least seven torpedoes. Albert, then 24 years old, was one of 105 crewmen killed.
His remains were flown into Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Tuesday, Sept. 15. Family was there to greet him as were the Patriot Riders, who will escort Renner back home to Mandan.
"It's very meaningful. It's a moving experience that the U.S. government would go through all this and bring home a lost relative," said Albert Renner's nephew Dennis Renner.
Officials from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency were able to identify Renner's body all these years later using DNA.
"Albert Renner is part of our nation’s greatest generation and their legacy of service and sacrifice will never be forgotten,” said North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven in a statement. “Today we join with his family, his fellow veterans and our state’s residents in honoring his sacrifice aboard the U.S.S. West Virginia.”
Renner will be buried with full military honors at the National Veterans Cemetery in Mandan on Friday, Sept. 18. Four of Renner's 15 siblings will be in attendance.