Yakima Man Who died in Pearl Harbor Finally Coming Home
A Yakima family is inviting the community to attend a public visitation and burial next month of a 24-year-old man who was killed on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor.
24-year-old Patrick Lloyd Chess died in the Pearl Harbor attack while serving in the United States Navy aboard the USS Oklahoma (BB-37). His ship was moored at Pearl Harbor, on Battleship Row off of Ford Island, on the island of Oahu when it faced aerial attack from Japan, resulting in the United States entering World War II.
Chess enlisted in the Navy at the age of 22
A native of the Yakima Valley Chess was born in November of 1917 and was the youngest of eight children born to James Vencel and Josephine (Koupeny) Chess who were farmers in the valley.
Chess, at the age of 22 enlisted in the U.S. Navy in October of 1940 in Seattle Washington as an Apprentice Seaman. The family says "Patrick was eager to a serve his country. He reported to the USS Oklahoma on December 13, 1940 as a Shipfitter 3rd Class. Just under 1 year later, he gave the ultimate sacrifice, in service to the country."
A telegram was sent to his family on December 20, 1941 listed Chess as Missing in Action.
DNA experts were able to identify his remains
Family members say he was eventually "deemed deceased and unrecoverable, and posthumously received the Purple Heart from the Chief of Naval Personnel."
For years researchers have worked to identify remains and that work has resulted in Chess being identified by DNA experts. Chess will soon be returned to Yakima where he will be buried near his parents.
Two public events are set to happen in June
A public visitation will be held at Shaw and Sons Funeral Home on Friday, June 10 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. During the visitation the public will be able to view family memorabilia, Pearl Harbor historical displays, a guest registry, and the flag draped casket of Patrick L Chess.
On June 11 at 10:00 am Chess will be laid to rest at Tahoma Cemetery where he will receive Full Military Honors, rendered by the US Navy, with VFW Post #379 assisting. The public is also invited to attend.
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