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UPDATE: Barber Brothers return to WI, laid to rest in New London

Local News
SUNDAY 9/12/2021 7:24 a.m.

NEW LONDON, Wis. (WFRV) – Three New London Brothers and Pearl Harbor Veterans are finally back home and were laid to rest at ‘The Most Precious Blood Catholic Cemetary’ after years of being lost.

Malcolm, Leroy, Randolph Barber died during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Now, nearly 80 years later, the Barber brothers’ remains were identified and brought home to be laid to rest on Saturday.

During the burial, a New London resident tells us that this ceremony meant a lot to her and her family.

“Well, I think in honor of my mother and the Leroy Barber family, it was important for me to see him laid to rest. I only wish that my mother was still alive to see him brought home,” shared New London resident Peggy Ebben.

Original Story: Barber Brothers come home: Gov. Evers orders flags to half-staff in honor of New London brothers killed in Pearl Harbor attack

THURSDAY 9/9/2021

MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – Flags of the United States and the state of Wisconsin will be flown at half-staff on September 11, in honor of three New London brothers who lost their lives during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

On Thursday, Governor Tony Evers signed an order that stated the state capitol’s flags will be lowered on Saturday as a tribute to the Barber brothers who will be laid to rest in New London.

The Barber brothers will be remembered as:

  • Fireman First Class Malcolm J. Barber
  • Fireman First Class Leroy K. Barber
  • Fireman Second Class Randolph H. Barber of the United States Navy

The tragic story of the Barber brothers began on December 7, 1941, when the ship they were aboard, USS Oklahoma, suffered multiple torpedo hits launched from a Japanese aircraft. The sudden attack caused the ship to capsize resulting in not only the Barber Brothers’ deaths but the deaths of 426 others.

During the years after the attack, Navy personnel worked hard to recover the remains of the deceased crew with the unidentified remains being placed at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii, waiting to be identified.

Now, nearly 80 years later, officials report the Barber brothers’ remains have been identified and will be traveling back to the brothers’ home state of Wisconsin to finally be laid to rest.

“The story of the Barber brothers and their family is a tragedy that has been a source of pain for the New London community, our state, and our country now for the better part of a century,” said Gov. Evers. “I am grateful for the work of many now nearly 80 years later who helped bring these brothers home.” 

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