Gov. Evers orders flags at half-staff Saturday to honor Navy seaman who died at Pearl Harbor

Stock photo, U.S. flag at half-staff
Stock photo, U.S. flag at half-staff(MGN)
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 11:37 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - Gov. Tony Evers is ordering the flags of the United States and the state of Wisconsin to be flown at half-staff on Sat., May 27, in honor of Navy Seaman Second Class David Joseph Riley.

Seaman Second Class Riley died in the attack on Pearl Harbor. His remains were formally identified years later and returned to Wisconsin for burial.

“The attack on Pearl Harbor changed the trajectory of World War II and our state and country, taking the lives of more than 50 Wisconsinites, including Navy Seaman Second Class Riley,” said Gov. Evers. “We are grateful for the effort to ensure that Navy Seaman Second Class Riley’s remains were returned so he can be laid to rest in Wisconsin. On behalf of his home state, we honor him for his service and sacrifice to this nation and the values we hold dear.”

A statement from the governor’s office said Seaman Second Class Riley was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma when he was killed in the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. He was originally from Juda.

The remains of the deceased crew from the USS Oklahoma were first interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries and, after attempts at identification in 1947, were reinterred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

In 2015, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency began exhuming remains from the USS Oklahoma for analysis and identification, and in 2021, Seaman Second Class Riley’s remains were positively identified. Seaman Second Class Riley was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart, the American Campaign Medal, and the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal.

Navy Seaman Second Class David Joseph Riley will be buried with full military honors in Juda on Saturday.