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WWII sailor from Kellogg returns home for burial

In this undated photo, Lloyd Timm, of Kellogg, Minn., stands guard in his Navy uniform. The remains of Timm, who was killed in action on Dec. 7, 1941, while stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor, will be returned to his family after being identified this past fall. (Contributed photo)

KELLOGG, Minn. — When Lloyd Timm comes home, no one who knew him will be there to greet him.

His immediate family has long since passed away. But that won't stop his next of kin from laying Timm to rest along the Mississippi River, in the community where he grew up.

Born in Kellogg, Timm died Dec. 7, 1941, at the age of 19 when the USS Oklahoma, the battleship on which he was stationed, was capsized in Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack that signaled the start of World War II.

The boat was moored at Ford Island, which lies in the middle of the harbor, when it was struck by several torpedoes from Japanese torpedo bombers, according to a notice from the U.S. Department of the Navy. The Oklahoma quickly capsized, and 429 crewmen — including Timm — died in the wreckage.

Timm was one of six children born to Rudolph and Clara Timm of Kellogg. According to an obituary in the Star-Tribune, Timm’s last living direct family member, his brother Warren, died May 31, 2007. The obituary stated that Warren Timm’s siblings — Eleanor, LaVonne, Elmo, Gus and, of course, Lloyd — all preceded him in death.

As it happens, Warren Timm had also been stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma, but was transferred to Jacksonville, Fla., before the onset of the war.

According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Navy personnel spent time from December 1941 through June 1944 recovering deceased crew members from the wreckage of the Oklahoma. Those remains were then interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu cemeteries in Hawaii.

After the war, in September 1947, the remains were disinterred and 35 individuals’ remains from the Oklahoma were identified at the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The American Graves Registration Service then buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Lloyd Timm.

However, from June to November 2015, DPAA personnel exhumed the USS Oklahoma’s unknown remains for analysis and were thus — using techniques ranging from dental and anthropological analysis to mitochondrial and Y-chromosome DNA analysis — able to finally identify Lloyd Timm’s remains.

DPAA officially accounted for Timm on Sept. 27, 2019, and announced their findings on Monday, Jan. 6. A burial is planned for May 25 in Wabasha.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war, according to DPAA. Currently, 72,639 are still unaccounted for from World War II, with approximately 30,000 assessed as possibly recoverable. Timm’s name, which is recorded on the Wall of the Missing at the Punchbowl in Honolulu, will have a rosette added by his name to indicate he has been accounted for.