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Sioux City native killed at Pearl Harbor returns home

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 6:17 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - On Friday, Siouxland honored and remembered the life of Harry Nichols as he returned home to be laid to rest.

Nichols was a Navy 3rd Class Store Keeper who was killed along with 428 other crewmen on the USS Oklahoma in the Pearl Harbor attack. Born and raised right here in Sioux City, Harry Nichols enlisted straight out of high school and served for just about a year before he was killed at 21 years old.

A total of 429 people were killed that day on the USS Oklahoma, but only 25 were identified a year and a half later. Nichols was left unidentified until May 2019, thanks to DNA testing by his nephew Mark.

“Very proud and happy, at the same time. And to bring this to closure is an unbelievable experience, but very, very heartfelt,” said Mark Nichols.

Friday was a day that the Sioux City native was finally home to be laid to rest with his mother and father. After the attacks, Harry’s own mother wondered for months what had happened to her son.

“My grandmother wrote a letter to an admiral saying, ‘Hey, look, it’s been two months now we don’t have any decisive feedback on what’s happened to our son.’ And like a week or two later, there’s a memo, you know, the old teletype stuff, memo from the admiral expressing his heartfelt loss and so forth,” said Mark Nichols.

Members of the Navy were present on Friday for the service, to pay respect to their own brother.

“I consider it an honor to come out to do this, I come from North Carolina, to be present to give Harry the honor that he deserves and recognition that he deserves for what he did,” said Terry Eddinger, Rear Admiral, CHC, U.S. Navy.

Harry Nichols is home, and his family couldn’t want anything more.

“I think this will be a day that we’ll never forget,” said Mark Nichols.

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