EMMONS, Minn. - Glaydon Iverson was a southern Minnesota boy, just 24-years-old and serving aboard the USS Oklahoma in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 when the skies opened up and hell rained down.
Iverson was one of 429 servicemen aboard the Oklahoma who died that day when the ship was struck by a number of torpedoes. What remained of the Minnesota man was recovered but not identified... not until modern technology intervened 75 years after that infamous day. Glaydon Iverson is finally coming home, to be laid to rest alongside his parents in a ceremony set for May 27. He will be buried with full military honors.
The homecoming will be the end of a meandering saga, which began when Iverson's unidentified remains were interred in the Halawa Cemetery near Honolulu. In September of 1947 his remains and those of other sailors were unearthed and taken to the Central Identification Library at Schofield Barracks. At that time lab staff was only able to identify the remains of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma, and Iverson was not among them. His remains were then buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific with 45 others, and labeled as "non-recoverable."
Fast forward to April of 2015, when the office of the Secretary of Defense issued a policy directing that the remains of unidentified personnel killed in Pearl Harbor be disinterred again in an attempt to identify their remains. Scientists with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) used laboratory analysis of genetic data or mitochondrial DNA obtained from maternal relatives, combined with Glaydon Iverson's dental records, to finally identify him.
A memorial service will be held for Iverson at 1:30 p.m. May 27 in the Emmons Lutheran Church, just south of Albert Lea. He is survived by the sons and daughters of his only sibling, Franklin E. Iverson, and a number of great nieces, great nephews and cousins.
One of his nephews compiled a biography for Iverson's obituary, that shared the few known details of his life.
Glaydon Ignatius Clement Iverson was born on October 31, 1917 in Freeborn County, Minnesota. Glaydon attended Emmons Public Schools and graduated from Emmons High School in 1936. The family doesn’t have much information about Uncle Glaydon as this was a topic never discussed because of the sensitivity. Our understanding is that Uncle Glaydon was well liked by everyone in the community; he was a very good athlete and likely worked with his dad Edwin Iverson from graduation until he enlisted in the US Navy. Edwin was a
drayman, who historically was the driver of a dray, a low, flatbed wagon pulled generally by horses or mules that were used for transporting all kinds of goods. In the winter, they also pulled big chunks of ice out of the lake and stored them using sawdust in a local building. The ice was used in home iceboxes. Glaydon was a member of the Emmons Lutheran Church.
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