Alabama Sailor Killed in WWII Returning Home

The remains of an Alabama serviceman killed during World War II are returning home, nearly 75 years after his death. The military says Navy Reserve Seaman 2nd Class Ira "Buck" Slaton, a native of Albertville, was killed during an attack on the USS Colorado in July, 1944. He was 22. The battleship was hit by fire from a concealed Japanese shore battery approximately 3,200 yards from the shore of Tinian Island, in the Northern Marianas. The first hit caused a massive explosion, and the ship sustained extensive damage. Four crewmen were declared missing in action, and 39 personnel were killed, including Slaton. Their remains were later interred at a cemetery on Saipan. But all were exhumed in 1948 as part of an effort to confirm their identities. The remains of Slaton were reclassified as unknown, and buried at the Manila American Memorial and Cemetery in the Philippines. Through the work of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Slaton's remains were exhumed in 2017, and DPAA scientists used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence to confirm his identity in 2018. Slaton will be buried April 6, in Horton, Ala.

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