MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today signed Executive Order #139 ordering the flags of the United States and the state of Wisconsin to be flown at half-staff on Mon, Nov. 8, 2021, in honor of Navy Hospital Apprentice 1st Class Keefe R. Connolly, who lost his life in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
“I want to thank all the folks who have worked to ensure Navy Hospital Apprentice 1st Class Connolly was able to return home after all these years so he can be laid to rest in his home state,” said Gov. Evers. “We are thankful for his service and his sacrifice, and we hope this final journey brings peace to his memory.”
Connolly, assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, lost his life on Dec. 7, 1941, in the attack on Pearl Harbor. The USS Oklahoma was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft and sustained multiple torpedo hits that caused the ship to capsize, resulting in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Connolly. Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew between 1941 and 1944 and interred unidentified remains, including those of Connolly, at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu shortly after World War II. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) exhumed USS Oklahoma Unknowns in 2015 for scientific analysis and possible identification, and the DPAA laboratory identified Connolly, who was accounted for on February 11, 2021.
Navy Hospital Apprentice 1st Class Keefe R. Connolly will be laid to rest with military honors at Memorial Cemetery in his hometown of Markesan on Mon., Nov. 8, 2021.
Executive Order #139 will be in effect from sunrise to sunset on Mon., Nov. 8, 2021, and is available here.