Remains of Minn. sailor who died at Pearl Harbor to return home

Published 11:13 am Friday, June 4, 2021

By Kirsti Marohn

A U.S. Navy sailor from Minnesota who was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor 79 years ago has been identified and is returning home to be buried.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Neal K. Todd of Akeley, Minn., was a 22-year-old Navy Fireman First Class and was assigned to the USS Oklahoma.

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The battleship was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when it was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The surprise attack killed more than 2,400 Americans and spurred the United States to enter World War II.

The Oklahoma was struck by multiple torpedoes, and quickly capsized. Todd was among 429 crewmen who were killed.

The Navy recovered their remains, which were later interred in cemeteries in Hawaii.

Most of the crewmen’s identities were unknown until 2015, when the US Department of Defense exhumed the remains. Scientists used DNA analysis to identify Todd.

He will be buried on July 10 in his hometown of Akeley, which is about 20 miles northeast of Park Rapids in Hubbard County.