EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - A homecoming 86 years in the making, an Evansville family learned more about their relative who died on the USS Oklahoma during Pearl Harbor.
"What do I know about George? Nothing, other than that he was on the Oklahoma. That's all we knew," says nephew John Wilcox.
Connecting the dots, decades after George J. Wilcox died during the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Since 1941, the location of the Navy Seaman's remains were unknown.
George's nieces and nephews never met him. All they had was a photo, a couple of documents, and his Purple Heart to remember him by. Until nephew John Wilcox answered the phone call they've been waiting for since that infamous day.
"I'd pretty much given up on any kind of," John explained. "I didn't think it was going to happen."
Friday, two Navy sailors met the family in Evansville to deliver a revised death certificate and all of the information they could gather about George now that his remains have been identified. The family says they're thankful to the Navy for their courtesy and compassion.
A family member says, "We're hoping that this would basically put a closure to find out what happened about our family."
George's remains are currently at the Air Force base in Omaha, Nebraska. But soon, he will make his final journey back to the Tri-State.
"Yeah, he's coming home," says John.
The Wilcox family says they wish George's brothers and sisters were still alive to experience this closure. They plan to lay George to rest next to his father in Saint Joseph Catholic Cemetery.