NEW LONDON, Wis. (WFRV) – It took nearly eight decades to identify the Barber Brothers’ bodies among those that died on that fateful day in 1941 in Pearl Harbor but now as the 80th anniversary draws nearer those three brothers are coming home.
“The bodies that were buried in the punch bowl about 10 years ago, the government started trying to identify them through DNA including the barber brothers,” said Kent Rusch, the Funeral Director at Cline and Hanson Funeral Home. “And now they’re being sent back to be buried on their family plot in New London.”
All three brothers served with each other side by side in the Navy and are now getting the funeral with military honors they earned.
“We’re getting the chaplain from the navy to say the prayers,” said Rusch. “The military honors will consist of, a flag will be presented for each of the boys to their family, folded and presented, there will be a firing detail, and taps will also be played.”
For decades since the Pearl Harbor attack the Barber Brothers have been memorialized at ‘Most Precious Blood Cemetary in New London and now nearly 80 years since that day they will be returned home to be buried with their family.
Rusch said, “The boys will be flown back, all three of them will be in caskets, we’ll have three hearses to bring them back to New London. Once they’re back here we have a graveside ceremony planned for them.”
Local five reached out to the Barber Brother’s surviving family members and they say they will not be doing any interviews at this time, and they told us they ask everyone to respect their wish for privacy during this difficult time.