A very special homecoming: Navy sailor killed in action 75 years ago laid to rest in Slidell

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SLIDELL, La. -- A Navy sailor who died aboard the U.S.S. Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor was laid to rest today at Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery in Slidell.

For the family of Cyril Dusset, his homecoming more than 75 years after his death is a source of pride.

"I think it's a great privilege to represent my family, but not only that, to represent all black American heroes that served in the military," his nephew Freddie Dusset said. "The military was segregated, and they were basically servants."

Dusset's remains were identified as a result of a project by the U.S. Defense Department's POW/MIA Accounting Agency that used DNA and other methods to return servicemen to their respective families.

Glen Dusset told WGNO that what happened to his uncle was painful for his family and something they rarely talked about.

"My dad may have mentioned it once or twice, but not much. I remember a picture and seeing the medals ," he recalled.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Dusset was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Dusset.

No single vessel at Pearl Harbor, with the exception of the USS Arizona, suffered as many fatalities.


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