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Walter H. Backman

Obituary for Walter H. Backman

April 29, 1919 - December 7, 1941
Aurora, Illinois | Age 22


Walter H. Backman was born on April 29, 1919 in Wilton, North Dakota, the son of August and Beatrice (Pope) Backman. He enlisted in the Navy in 1938 and served as a radioman. He was on duty in the radio compartment of the battleship USS Oklahoma on the morning of December 7, 1941 when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor began. The Oklahoma took multiple hits from Japanese aerial torpedoes and capsized within 15 minutes of the first strike. Walter was one of 429 sailors on the Oklahoma who perished in the battle. Over the next three years, the US Navy recovered the remains of sailors who were trapped inside the capsized ship, but were only able to identify 35 of them. Those who were unidentified, including Walter, were interred together at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. In 2015, the Department of Veteran's Affairs and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency began the Oklahoma Project, to identify those remains using DNA methods. Through this, Walter's remains were identified.

Walter will be brought home and laid to rest on Memorial Day, May 28, 2018. A prayer service will take place at 1 PM at The Healy Chapel, 332 W. Downer Pl., Aurora, IL 60506. A graveside service with military honors will take place at 2 PM at River Hills Memorial Park, 1650 S. River St., Batavia, IL 60510. For more information, call 630-897-9291.

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Healy Chapel

332 W Downer Pl
Aurora, IL 60506
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