The Yukon Veterans Museum on Tuesday held a memorial ceremony for three Oklahoma sailors who died on the USS Grayback in World War II.
The wreckage of their submarine, which had a crew of 80, wasn’t found until last year, when an exploration crew located it more than 1,400 feet underwater off Okinawa, Japan.
Tuesday’s ceremony honored Robert Vernon Hansen, Lee Carol Stanford and Ross Lillard Capshaw
Because they were lost at sea, the men “were not given the honor and respect they deserve,” said Lt. Col. (ret.) Rick Cacini, founder and curator of the Yukon Veterans Museum.
The ceremony, held at the Dale Robertson Center in Yukon, provided the opportunity to fulfill the military’s commitment to the concept of “no man shall be left behind,” he said.
“We hope this brings final closure to their friends and families.”
Anthony Barnes, the commodore of the Navy’s Strategic Communications Wing One, stationed at Tinker Air Force Base, recounted the submarine’s history.
It had a number of successful war patrols, he said.
“It was one of the Navy’s most successful submarines,” Barnes said.
Barnes was accompanied by members of his unit.
Some of the unit members joined with members of the Daughters of the American Revolution in laying wreathes honoring the three sailors.
Hansen was a radio technician first class from Oklahoma City, Stanford was a machinist mate from Ardmore, and Capshaw was a pharmacist’s mate from Oklahoma City.