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Family holds funeral for Beaufort County man who died in attack on Pearl Harbor

The family of Howard Hodges had the chance to lay a hometown hero to rest in Beaufort County.
Published: Apr. 17, 2021 at 9:26 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The siblings of the late Howard David Hodges held a funeral service in Washington, N.C. for their older brother whose body was recently found after being missing for over 80 years.

Hundreds in attendance at the funeral of a War Veteran whose body had been missing for over 80...
Hundreds in attendance at the funeral of a War Veteran whose body had been missing for over 80 years.(WITN News)

Hodges was one of many soldiers whose bodies were missing after the Japanese Pearl Harbor attack during World War II.

He was a native of Beaufort County and died in action on December 7, 1941.

Hundreds were in attendance for the service.

“I was very small, two-years-old when he died,” Hodges’ brother Lindberg “Lindy” Hodges said. “My mother talked about him a lot and he was a very good person. He helped with the smaller children and he joined the service to help the family financially.”

Obituary of Howard Hodges, one of the many missing shipmen in the Japanese attack on Pearl...
Obituary of Howard Hodges, one of the many missing shipmen in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.(WITN News)

Members of the Northeast North Carolina Patriot Guard Riders, a war veteran biker club, were also in attendance.

Some were moved by the service.

“He’s a veteran that’s been missing for 80 some odd years, and he’s finally coming home,” said Roy Hankinson, Northeast Assistant State Captain for the Patriot Guard. “He deserves the honor and respect that he earned. There’s one thing we do at the Patriot Guard. We have a requirement for sunglasses for just that moment. It’s not above us at all. A lot of us have been around for a while, but we all shed a tear occasionally; and that brings it on.”

Sailors from the USS Oklahoma who died at Pearl Harbor have been identified since March. Howard had 14 siblings. He was the sixth oldest.

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