Pearl Harbor hero laid to rest in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Pearl Harbor hero laid to rest in Dubuque

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Father Aloysius Schmitt Father Aloysius Schmitt
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

It's a special memorial mass, fit for a Pearl Harbor hero.

Nearly 200 people came out to Christ the King Chapel on the Loras College campus, to pay their respects to Father Al Schmitt of St. Lucas, Iowa.

He died on Dec. 7, 1941 along with 428 other crew members when the USS Oklahoma was attacked.  

"He held back and helped others to escape the sinking ship," said Archbishop Jackels.

He helped save 12 of his shipmates that day.

Recently, the navy identified Father Al's remains.

Now 75-years after his death, family members and other military servicemen fill the pews to honor him, including his niece Rose Foley. "I can still see him driving in the driveway, the first thing that came out the car was the golf clubs. He just was something else," she said.

After praying for Father Al, he received full military honors. The American flag on his casket, folded then given to his family.

"I've cried all day...I'm very, very happy because we thought this would never happen," added Rose.

The remains of a brave man who died for his country, now back home

Father Al Schmitt was 32-years-old when he died. Even though he died at a young age, he was later honored with several military medals for his heroism.

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