John Charles England was one of many men who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor, on December 7th, 1941. England was stationed on the U.S.S. Oklahoma at the time of the attacks, but he died while returning to the ship to save several other sailors.

England’s granddaughter, Bethany Glenn, never knew her grandfather so she began researching his life. Glenn spent over 12 years researching everything about this man and his heroic story. She even went as far as to visit his high school!

But even with all the new information about him, Glenn still desired to find his body. There were 388 sailors who remained unknown from the Oklahoma so the chances of finding him, if he even made it there, were slim.

But thanks to one veteran’s resilience, Glenn was contacted about her grandfather’s possible location. Identifying his body was nearly impossible, but thanks to the new DNA science. records and countless hours from people willing to help he was indeed found.

The true hero for finding England was Navy Veteran Ray Emory. Emory was one of the fortunate soldiers to survive the horrifying ordeal. Having the blessing of life has given him a drive to spend the rest of his life identifying the unknown soldiers. He has spent hundreds of hours searching. He’s hit obstacle after obstacle, but he never backs down.

Emory’s hard work has led to 30 of the 388 soldiers from the Oklahoma being identified, uncovered, and reburied with proper military honors. Emory’s team has a goal of identifying 80% of those remaining men and women in 3-5 years.

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Article via National Geographic