Navy Sailor killed in Pearl Harbor attack comes home after 78 years
Governor Bevin orders flags in Kentucky flown at half-mast
Ulis C. Steely, born to Reverend Edd and Minnie Steely in Whitley County, Kentucky, on July 6, 1916, killed in action during the attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and awarded the Purple Heart for his service, will finally be laid to rest in his hometown of Corbin Kentucky, on Saturday, October 5, 2019.
Memorial Services, officiated by Bobby Joe Eaton, minister, will be held at 11:00 A.M. on October 5th at Grace on the Hill Church, located at 1632 Cumberland Falls Highway Corbin, KY 40701. Immediately following the memorial service, the funeral procession will travel to Corinth Cemetery where Ulis will be buried with full Military Honors by his headstone that was placed in his memory in 1942.
Ulis enlisted in the Navy before his 18th birthday on April 21, 1934. Planning to make the Navy his career, he re-enlisted twice in August 1938 and again in August 1940, with aspirations of attending Annapolis. His Navy records show a motivated intelligent Sailor who earned his Good Conduct Medal in 1938. In December of 1941 Ulis was stationed on the Oklahoma in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked and the Oklahoma suffered multiple torpedo hits and was capsized. 429 sailors and marines lost their lives that day. Ulis was declared killed in action on December 29, 1941, with his remains listed as unrecoverable. Unidentified, Ulis was buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific aka the Punchbowl among the “Unknowns.”
In April 2015 the Defense Accounting Agency personnel began the process of exhuming and identifying as many of our lost sailors as possible. In November 2018, Ulis was identified, and in March 2019 the family was notified, met with the Navy and planning has been taking place since such time for Ulis to come back to his hometown of Corbin to be laid to rest with his family.
A bittersweet experience for the family, finally bringing him home provides some final closure, but painful to be reminded of what an impact his loss had on his young wife, their small children and all of his surviving family.
In death, Ulis left behind Dorothy Steely (Wife), Charles Steely (Son), Woodrow Steely, (Son) Reverend Edd Steely (Father), Minnie Steely (Mother), Elvis C. Steely (Brother), Cleopas Steely (Sister) and Herman Steely (Brother). Among his living family members are Dean Steely (Grandson) of Apple Valley, CA, Mark Steely (Grandson) of Stockton, CA, Sharon Steely-Amarantos of Seal Beach, CA (Granddaughter), Jake Steely of Stockton, CA (Grandson), Coit Steely of Corbin, KY (Nephew), Robert Steely of Corbin, KY (Nephew), Betty Carroll of Glasgow, KY (Niece), Bobbie Chism of Kokomo, IN (Niece), Eddie White (Nephew) of Kokomo, IN, Brenda White, of Kokomo IN (Niece), and Paul Steely of Lewiston, KY (Cousin).
The family will receive friends from 5:30 – 8:00 P.M. on Friday, October 4 at Hart Funeral Home, located at 1011 Master Street in Corbin. For more information, call the funeral home at 606-528-5311.