WWII sailor's remains return home to Kentucky after nearly 80 years

Posted at 9:25 PM, Jul 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-30 06:47:13-04

SOMERSET, Ky. (LEX 18) — Nearly 80 years after his presumed death, a World War II sailor's remains have returned back home to Kentucky.

The remains of Navy Seaman 2nd Class Floyd D. Helton, 18, were accounted for on April 23, 2020, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

Helton, of Somerset, was killed during World War II at Pearl Harbor, where he was assigned to the battleship U.S.S. Oklahoma.

His sister and niece arrived at CVG Airport Thursday, heartened to see at least a dozen veterans and members of the Rolling Thunder there to pay their respects.

"It's just mind-boggling that people care about somebody who died 80 years ago," Vicki Easley, Helton's niece, said.

She said that her mother had made a promise to Easley's grandfather to bring Heltons' remains home.

"I'm glad that this is coming to fruition," Easley said. "That my mother is seeing this happen and she will be at peace to know it's done and that she's fulfilled that promise to her dad."

Helton's remains will be laid to rest in Sloans Valley Cemetery, in Burnside.