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Pearl Harbor victim finally laid to rest in Patchogue, 80 years after attack

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Patchogue’s own Sailor Fireman 3rd Class Kenneth L. Jayne was one of the 2,403 U.S. military personnel and civilians who lost their lives during the attack at Pearl Harbor.

Saturday morning, three days ahead of the 80th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor, Jayne — whose remains weren’t identified until 2016 — was at last laid to rest at his family’s plot in Cedar Grove Cemetery in Patchogue.

It was Jayne’s nephew, Kenneth Schultz, who led the charge to identify and bring Jayne’s remains home — and seek approval to have him interred at Cedar Grove, said Jon Ralph from the American Legion Post 269 in Patchogue.

Ralph said Schultz was in attendance at the funeral, during which Jayne received full military honors, including a gun salute, a military bugler sounding taps and the folding of the American flag, presented to next-of-kin.

Jayne’s father, Edward Forrest Jayne; his mother, Clara Butler Jayne; and his sister, Lila Adele Jayne Shultz, are buried in the same cemetery.

Flowers with a red, white and blue ribbon reading “Beloved Uncle” were placed at Jayne’s resting place.

Identifying heroes

Fireman Third Class Jayne was born Aug. 5, 1915, in Patchogue. The sailor was 26 when he served aboard the USS Oklahoma (BB-37).

The story of his final journey from Pearl Harbor to Patchogue is one that has become familiar to hundreds of families around the country in recent years.

Navy personnel recovered remains of the USS Oklahoma’s crew between 1941 to 1947. In 1947, the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks identified 35 men from the remains, according to a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) press release dated Dec. 2.

Jayne was not one of these 35 men. The American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) buried his and the other unidentified remains in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP) at Punchbowl Crater in Honolulu.

The Patchogue man’s remains were identified in April 2016 as part of the DPAA mission to identify the remains of the 429 sailors and marines who perished aboard the USS Oklahoma.

The initiative, started in 2015, officially ended Tuesday, with 396 USS Oklahoma sailors and marines identified in the effort.

The remains of the 33 unidentified sailors and marines will be reinterred at the Punchbowl Crater location this week.