Remains of WWII Sailor Identified as Navy Ensign Lewis Bailey Pride, Jr. of Madisonville
The remains of an American World War II sailor missing in action for more than 70 years have been identified as Ensign Lewis Bailey Pride, Jr. Ensign Pride was a Madisonville, KY native and the son of Lewis Bailey, Sr. and Nell Wade Pride.
Information obtained from the Hopkins County Genealogical Society, past military records, and Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency indicates Ensign Pride was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma which arrived in Pearl Harbor on December 6, 1940, and spent the next several months participating in exercises and conducting patrols.
On the morning of December 7, 1941, a fleet of Japanese aircraft carriers launched formations of dive bombers, torpedo planes and fighters against the vessels. Ensign Pride was killed in the attack along with 428 of his fellow sailors and Marines aboard the Oklahoma.
In 2015, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency personnel exhumed Pride and other remains salvaged from the battleship. Citing advances in forensic and scientific analysis many of the soldiers have now been identified.
Mayor David Jackson says, “The City of Madisonville is honored to work with Ensign Pride’s family, the United States Navy, local veterans organizations and Harris Funeral Home as our community prepares to welcome home Madisonville beloved hero.”
Ensign Pride’s remains will be returned home for an official military burial ceremony at Oddfellows Cemetery on Saturday, June 18th at 11 a.m.