Flags ordered at half-staff in honor of Ky. serviceman

Ky. flags at half-staff for WWII serviceman

KENTUCKY (KFVS) - All Kentucky state office buildings have been ordered to lower flags to half-staff on Monday, Aug. 19.

Gov. Matt Bevin issued the order in honor of a Kentucky serviceman who was killed in action during World War II.

That serviceman is Navy Fireman 1st Class Billy J. Johnson, 22, of Caney. His remains were only recently identified.

State officials said Johnson was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. The ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft on Dec. 7, 1941.

Navy Fireman 1st Class Billy J. Johnson, 22, of Caney (Source: Commonwealth of Kentucky Governor's Office)
Navy Fireman 1st Class Billy J. Johnson, 22, of Caney (Source: Commonwealth of Kentucky Governor's Office) (Source: Commonwealth of Kentucky Governor's Office/Commonwealth of Kentucky Governor's Office;billy johnson;kfvs)

The USS Oklahoma was hit by multiple torpedoes and capsized. State officials said the attack resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen.

Learn more about the road to discovering Johnson’s remains here.

Staff said Johnson’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Punchbowl. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

On Aug. 19, he will be buried in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Staff with the office of Gov. Bevin said there are 72,692 still unaccounted for from World War II. Of that 72,692 about 30,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable.

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