Jun 15-10

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2010: June: Jun 15-10
Honor Guard    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Roland Burgan
Silent tribute    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Roland Burgan
Three volley salute    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Roland Burgan
Flag presentation to niece    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Roland Burgan
Presenting flag to nephew    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Roland Burgan

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 06:51 am:

Today's photos and notes are compliments of Roland Burgan:

After 69 years of hopes and efforts by his family, USN Seaman Third Class Gerald G. Lehmanís remains were finally identified and sent back to Hancock, MI, his home town. He died December 7, 1941, aboard the Battleship USS Oklahoma, BB37,at his post in the engine room, along with 429 others, when struck by multiple torpedoes that opened up her side. The ship quickly capsized and settled to the bottom. She would not be righted and refloated until January, 1944, allowing salvage personnel to finally recover missing sailorís remains, which for lack of means to identify at the time, were buried in mass graves. His remains were finally identified by mitochondrial DNA found on envelope flaps of letters sent home prior to that fatal day. Gerald Lehman graduated from Hancock High in 1940, and immediately went into the Navy. He was 18 years old at his death.

The official US Navy Honor Guard, who conducted the military honors and escorted the remains home, were from the Green Bay, WI Naval Reserve Center. Veterans and Vets Posts from around the U.P. served as an Honor Guard. Four Pearl Harbor Survivors also flew in for the Ceremony.
Starting with Roland's first photo, Seaman Lehman's remains arrive at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Houghton, with an Honor Guard lining the approach, comprised of UP Veterans, Veteran's Units and ROTC Units from as far as 150 miles away.
Next, a final salute by all attending Servicemen, current and past, in a silent tribute to those who gave the Ultimate Sacrifice for Country, Flag, and Family. Following with A US Navy Rifle Squad, from the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Chicago, IL, as they fire the traditional three volley salute. In the last two photos, the American Flag is presented to Seaman Lehman's niece, Peggy Germain of Calumet and also to his nephew John Herres.

We take this moment to remember this "Hometown Hero" and his family, for the sacrifices they made and give thanks that there can finally be some closure now, with his return to the Copper Country as his final resting place.
Aaron Rice (Woodchuck) on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 07:08 am:

Thank you

By jbuck (Jbuck) on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 07:19 am:

What a blessing that technology has progressed to the point where this family could bring their sailor home to rest.

Thanks to all who participated in accomplishing this and for honoring Seaman Third Class Gerald G. Lehman. May he rest in peace.

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 07:40 am:

What a tragic and amazing story, beginning in 1941 and finally ending now. My condolences to the family and I hope it brings piece to them.

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 07:55 am:

A very moving, bitter-sweet tribute to a young hero!

By Donna (Donna) on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 07:58 am:

The whole process has be nothing less than phenomenal. Way to go Ms. Germain...for bringing your uncle home. Impressive. The whole story from start to finish....is what FAMILY and LOVE are all about!


Hat's off.

By Diana P. (Diana) on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 10:45 am:

No dry eyes here, after seeing these photographs and reading the Mining Gazette article about Gerald Lehman. Thank you for sharing this touching story with all of us! God bless all our Veterans and their families.

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 12:45 pm:

Welcome Home, Gerald.

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 01:25 pm:

Very touching! May GOD bless all who served and all who "gave the last full measure of devotion"!

By Barbara Whiteside (Bobbeo60) on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 02:43 pm:

Back home.....wonderful.....so glad to know he's resting back home in that quiet place in the Keweenaw.

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 - 03:53 pm:

May he Rest in Peace.

By Melodie Hayes (Herblady) on Wednesday, June 16, 2010 - 05:54 am:

I heard this story on NPR radio a few weeks ago. It was very moving. His niece was interviewed. So nice to see the closure has come.

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