The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ontonagon man killed at Pearl Harbor identified


February 1, 2018

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An Ontonagon native, Lowell Earl Valley, who served in World War II at Pearl Harbor has been identified by DNA. He is the last of three Upper Peninsula men who were killed during an attack on the USS Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941. His brother Bob Valley of Gladstone called the Daily Globe and said he was notified by the Navy Casualty office in Millington, Tenn.


Ontonagon - An Upper Peninsula man has been notified that his brother who was killed in World II at Pearl Harbor has been identified.

Navy Fireman Second Class Lowell Earl Valley, from Ontonagon, is the last of three Upper Peninsula men who were killed during an attack on the USS Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941, to be identified. The ship was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when it was attacked by Japanese aircraft.

Multiple torpedo hits caused the ship to quickly capsize, and 429 crew members died.

Bob Valley, in his 80s, of Gladstone, notified the Daily Globe that he received a telephone call on Jan. 19 from the Navy Casualty office in Millington, Tenn., informing him that Lowell Valley had been identified by DNA.

"It was one heck of a job to get them to bring them up," Bob Valley, was quoted as saying by AARP. "We were fighting everybody - the Navy, the Army, the (Veterans Administration.)"

Bob Valley said he was told a home visit will follow in a month or two, when more details are expected to be revealed.

Lowell Valley was born on July 20, 1922. He was honored with a Purple Heart, the American Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.

The two other U.P. crewmen were Gerald George Lehman, of Hancock, identified in 2010, and William Michael Finnegan, a native of Bessemer who grew up in Dollar Bay.

Finnegan, who received an Ensign designation posthumously, was identified on May 9, 2016, according to Bob Valley.

The USS Finnegan destroyer is named after William Finnegan.

Bob Valley said interment for his brother will be in the Catholic Cemetery in Ontonagon some time in June or July. He said the public will be notified as the date for the ceremony draws nearer.

Bob Valley said in 2015 remains of the crew members were disinterred from the National Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, known as the Punchbowl.

Lowell Valley's name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with others missing from World War II.

A rosette will now be placed next to his name there to indicate he has been accounted for after all those years.

It is hoped 80 percent of the crewmen will be identified by 2019.


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