Louis Tushla

An Atkinson soldier will be escorted home to his final resting place on Thursday.

F1C Louis Tushla, who was killed in World War II, will be escorted from OFFUTT AFB in Omaha to Atkinson on Thursday, July 15.

His family invites the public to pay their respects to this American hero as he passes through the area. 

The timeline indicates that he will depart from OFFUTT at noon on Thursday and pass through Antelope County on Highway 275 sometime after 4:30 p.m. He is expected to arrive at the Atkinson funeral home shortly after 6 p.m.

Tushla’s visitation and prayer service are set for Friday, July 16 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Seger Funeral Home in Atkinson.

Navy Fireman 1st Class Louis J. Tushla, 25, of Atkinson, Nebraska, killed during World War II, was accounted for on March 27, 2020.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Tushla was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Tushla.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Tushla.

Between June and November 2015, DPAA personnel exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknowns from the Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify Tushla’s remains, scientists from DPAA dental and anthropological analysis. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used Y chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis.

Tushla’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Tushla will be buried July 17, 2021, in his hometown of Atkinson.