LARAMIE – On Dec. 17, 2018, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that the remains of Navy Machinist’s Mate 1st Class George Hanson, 32, of Laramie, Wyoming, killed during World War II, were accounted for.

On June 26, the WWII Veteran will be escorted from Denver International Airport to his Wyoming hometown. He will be interred in his final resting place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 29, at Green Hill Cemetery, 455 N. 15th St. in Laramie.

UPDATE:

VFW Post 2221 invites everyone to join them after the service on Saturday morning, June 29, for cake, cookies, tea, coffee, and juice at the VFW Post, 2142 E. Garfield St. in Laramie. For more information, call 307-745-4918.

On Wednesday, June 26, anyone wishing to line the route to show their gratitude and respect is welcome and encouraged to do so.  We ask that you find a safe place if you do and that you do not stop on the highway or impede the motorcade.  There will be numerous police, fire and EMS units out along the route to render honors as well.

8:00 pm  – 8:15 pm Depart DIA via Pena Blvd to Tower Rd.

8:10 pm  – 8:20 pm Northbound on Tower Rd from Pena Blvd

8:15 pm  –  8:30 pm    Northbound on Tower Rd onto  Westbound 104th Ave

8:25 pm  –  8:40 pm    Westbound on 104th Ave at Highway 2

8:35 pm  –  8:50 pm    Westbound on 104th Ave Washington St.

8:40 pm  –  8:55 pm    Northbound on I-25 at 112th Ave

8:45 pm  –  9:00 pm    Northbound on I-25 at E-470

8:50 pm  –  9:05 pm    Northbound on I-25 at Highway 52

8:55 pm  –  9:10 pm    Northbound on I-25 at Highway 66

9:00 pm  –  9:15 pm    Northbound on I-25 at Highway 34

9:10 pm  –  9:25 pm    Northbound on I-25 at Highway 68

9:20 pm  –  9:35 pm    Northbound on I-25 at Wellington

9:35 pm  –  9:50 pm    Northbound on I-25 at Colorado/Wyoming Line

9:40 pm  –  9:55 pm    Northbound on I-25 Exiting at Exit 7 Love’s Truck Stop; 15 minute stop for gas and meet up with Wyoming Highway Patrol and other riders

9:55 pm  – 10:10 pm  Northbound on I-25 onto Westbound I-80

10:10 pm – 10:25 pm Westbound on I-80 at Laramie/Albany County Line

10:20 pm – 10:35 pm Westbound on I-80 at Highway 210

10:25 pm – 10:40 pm Westbound on E Grand Ave at Boulder Dr.

10:27 pm – 10:42 pm Westbound on E Grand Ave onto S 22nd St.

10:28 pm – 10:43 pm Arrival at Montgomery-Stryker Funeral Home 

At 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 29, the funeral procession honoring MM1C George Hanson will begin at Montgomery Stryker Funeral home. Upon departing Montgomery-Stryker, we will head Northbound on 22nd Street crossing Grand Avenue to Willett Drive. We will turn Westbound onto Willett Drive and continue to the South entrance of Green Hill Cemetery.

We are asking members of the public who wish to attend the services at the cemetery to park away from the grave site as to allow parking for the family. Members of the public who wish to pay their respects along the procession route are welcomed to do so. Please remember to do so safely while observing all traffic laws. Additionally, please do not block the procession route or any adjoining roads.

 If you have any comments questions or concerns please contact Jeremy Eller at 719-304-1008.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Hanson was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Hanson.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crewmen, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Hanson.

Between June and November 2015, DPAA personnel exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknown remains from the Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify Hanson’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA analysis.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently, there are 72,731 (approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable) still unaccounted for from World War II. Hanson’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website, on Facebook, or call 703-699-1420 ext. 1169.