One of South Dakota's own will be laid to rest this week.

During the days of World War II our men and women were serving in many different parts of the world. One being Hawaii at Perl Harbor Naval Station.

For one of those sailors who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the bombing by Japanese forces his remains have been accounted for and will now be returned to his family.

US Navy Water Tender Second Class Petty Officer Porter Leigh Rich has been accounted for. Rich has been listed as missing in action since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

On December 7, 1941 Rich was assigned to the USS Oklahoma which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen.

Rich’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.  After 76 years Porter L. Rich’s remains were identified positively through family DNA-testing and will now finally be home.

A Memorial Service for Rich is scheduled for March 31 at the Lake Preston High School Gymnasium in Lake Preston, South Dakota. Full Military Funeral Honors will be conducted by the U.S. Navy & U.S. Air Force.

For those who serve and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice you have our thanks, gratitude and devotion.


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