Remains of Pearl Harbor sailor have been identified and linked to Beeville family

Posted at 5:09 PM, Apr 08, 2019



Modern day DNA testing has allowed one family from Beeville to get closure. This after they were informed that the remains of their family member, who had died during the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War 2, had been identified.

“Oh my gosh, unreal after 77 years,” said Betty Perkins.

Perkins remembers her brother, Richard Thomson, who joined the US Navy right after high school back in 1941, just in time for World War 2.

“He was 19 when he was killed,” said Perkins.

She says her brother was a sailor on the USS Oklahoma, one of the many ships that was sunk in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbors naval base.

“Of course listening to the news we knew that pearl harbor was bombed and there was all these ships sunk in the harbor but we didn’t know definitely for a few months,” said Perkins.

Like many sailors who died in that attack, Thomson’s body was never recovered and returned to the family.

“They had taken those bodies from the USS Oklahoma and buried them in what they call a punch bowl in Hawaii,” said Perkins.

That was until now. Just weeks ago Perkins received a call that the DNA from her brothers remains had been  tested and linked to her own.

And now that his remains have been identified, he can get the proper burial he deserved.

“He’ll be with family finally,” said Perkins.

Their parents have long passed away, but she says either way she wants her brothers body to come home.

Perkins has decided to decline the military’s offer to bury Thomson’s body at the Arlington National Cemetery. Instead she will have brothers remains buried in League City, Texas — where her parents, grandparents, and two of her other brothers are also buried.

“Mom and dad have waited long enough for them he should be buried with them,” said Perkins.

Always called him my champion,” said Perkins.