Body of Hancock County sailor who died at Pearl Harbor during WWII returning home

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Martin Young body return

The body of Navy Fireman 2nd Class Martin Young returns home to Hawesville, Ky. Young was 21 when he died at Pearl Harbor during WWII. (May 13, 2021)

LEWISPORT, Ky (WEHT) The body of Navy Fireman 2nd Class Martin D. Young, 21, of Hawesville, is returning home today. His body was accounted for on August 19, 2019.

Volunteers from the Lewisport area will be supporting “The Flagman’s Mission Continues” by setting up US Flags for Young’s funeral.  

On Dec. 7, 1941, Young was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Young.

Visitation for Young will be at the Gibson and Son Funeral Home (315 Caroline Street) on Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon. The funeral service will be at noon. After the funeral service concludes, the community is encouraged to line the escort route to the cemetery.

It’s a homecoming nearly eighty-years in the making. But today, Mr. Young made the long journey home to his final resting place.

A community stood proud as they welcomed home a sailor who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“He’s been gone all this time. It’s, it’s amazing that they’re able to bring him home,” said Bill Cox of Hawesville.

Many showing up earlier this afternoon to help put Old Glory on display.

Support also coming out of Missouri. The CEO of “The Flagman’s Mission Continues” traveled to Kentucky — with hundreds of flags in tow. His organization’s mission is to honor those who’ve worn the uniform.

“We’ll be covering a little over a mile with the flags on both sides. So about almost three miles of flags will be put up with about 600 flags we brought with us on this and but we actually own 2600 flags,” said Jeff Hastings.

Distant relatives also volunteering their time.

“He was always important to the family and he’s a war hero,” said Jeremy Williamson.

So important that Williamson’s own son is named after the hero. Today, that young man also lending a hand.

“It’s the least you can do really.”

Donna Young-Wall is also a distant relative. She helped place flags around the cemetary where martin young will be laid to rest.

“It’s my understanding that he will be buried here beside his sister. So also very touching,” said Young-Wall.

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