Visitation for Corbin sailor killed at Pearl Harbor is Friday with funeral Saturday
Almost 78 years later, the Corbin sailor killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor is back home.
The remains of U.S. Navy Motor Machinist Mate First Class Ulis C. Steely arrived in Corbin Thursday night after landing at Bluegrass Airport in Lexington.
A procession of local and state law enforcement along with members of the Patriot Guard Riders escorted Steely and the members of his family, including his grandson and nephew, from Lexington to Corbin.
The procession went up Main Street where residents were waiting to show their support before proceeding to Hart Funeral Home on Master Street.
The visitation is to be held Friday night. The funeral will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at Grace on the Hill United Methodist Church with the burial to follow at Corinth Cemetery.
Family members have said previously that the visitation, funeral and burial are all open to the public.
Steely was one of 429 crewmen of the battleship USS Oklahoma killed when the ship capsized after being struck by at least five torpedoes.
A number of the victims from the Oklahoma and other ships sunk or damaged in the attack were recovered from the harbor in the days following the attack. However it wasn’t until the Oklahoma was righted and refloated in 1943 that the remains of the crewmembers that went down with the ship were recovered.
Steely’s remains were among those recovered, but at the time positive identification of individual sailors and Marines was impossible. As a result, he was buried along with other unidentified victims of the attack in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.
In 2015, the remains of 46 Oklahoma unknowns were again exhumed for DNA analysis.
His remains were positively identified on Nov. 4, 2018.
Lorrie Steely, who is married to Ulis’ grandson, Dean, said previously that the family elected to bring the sailor home to Corbin as opposed to having him buried with others killed in the attack in Hawaii so that other family members could visit the gravesite.
Ulis’ parents, Ed and Minnie, had a memorial marker erected for him at Corinth Cemetery. He will be buried in that grave.
“If they are looking down, they have smiles on their faces,” said Coit Steely, Ulis’ nephew.