LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – Navy Seaman First Class George E. Naegle is laid to rest in his hometown after his remains were identified nearly 78 years after his death.
Naegle was stationed on the battleship USS Oklahoma when he died during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. His remains were identified last September by the U.S. Defense Department’s POW/MIA Accounting Agency through DNA analysis.
Funeral services for the sailor were held at the cathedral of St. Joseph the Workman in La Crosse on Saturday morning. The procession then went to the St. Joseph Mausoleum in the Catholic Cemetery on Losey Boulevard. During the service Mary Ann Lyden, niece of Seaman 1st Class George Naegle, was presented with the American Flag on behalf of the family.
Service men and women honored his return home by attending the service. Members of the United States Navy carried his casket, adorned with the American flag, to his final resting place. The service concluded with the playing of Taps and a 3-Gun Salute to honor a fallen comrade.
“The community, the Navy community, when something like this happens the Navy community bands together,” Lieutenant Commander Ben Hofer said. “We are here to support whatever event it is, in this case the final honors of Seaman Naegle.”
George E. Naegle was a La Crosse native. He graduated from Central High School in 1938 and later enlisted in the United States Navy in 1939.