A Warren County Pearl Harbor veteran’s remains will not be returned to his hometown as planned this weekend.
COVID-19 is the reason.
Warren C. Crim was killed while stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma on December 7, 1941. His body was to be returned to McMinnville Saturday, to be buried at the Gardens of Memory Cemetery.
Family member Bruce Atnip said he’s grateful his cousin was identified after almost 80 years.
“Well it’s a great sense of relief to know that, it’s a great honor to know that he paid the ultimate sacrifice to give you and I, and those listening to this, the freedom that we have to pick and choose the life we do live,” Atnip said.
Crim was a Fireman Third Class for the Navy. He was among the over 400 who were lost after the ship capsized after being hit by Japanese torpedoes. Warren County has 75 veterans who gave their lives during WWII. Atnip said Crim will be the last one to be identified and laid to rest.
“For many, many years, his immediate family tried to get information to find out something about his remains or if there was anyway to identify [him],” Atnip said. “It’s just sad that all of them have passed now…and never got to know the final end of all things. Now the rest of us at least have that form of closure that this precious soul that gave his all for us is finally getting to come home.”
In 2015 the Navy conducted DNA testing to identify unknown remains to return them to their families. Atnip said plans to return Crim home began late 2018.
Atnip said the Navy is holding Crim’s remains until pandemic concerns are lifted.