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WWII casualty on way home. Almost 67 years after his death, Lawrence Boxrucker of Dorchester is coming home.


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#1 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 12:29 AM

WWII casualty on way home



By Liz Welter • For the Journal • August 16, 2008

Almost 67 years after his death, Lawrence Boxrucker of Dorchester is coming home.
Boxrucker was a casualty of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. A sailor aboard the ill-fated USS Oklahoma, Boxrucker was among the more than 400 sailors on the Oklahoma who died that Sunday morning, along with about 2,000 other military personnel.

Because it was peacetime, servicemen weren't required to wear their identification tags, and Boxrucker's body and the bodies of about 600 others weren't identified.
Then, about two years ago, Louis Boxrucker, Lawrence's identical twin brother, learned his brother's body finally had been identified.
Lawrence Boxrucker will receive a funeral with military rites in September, with burial in the family plot at Dorchester Memorial Cemetery.
Louis and Lawrence Boxrucker grew up on the family farm outside Dorchester and both joined the Navy in 1940. Neither was interested in the farming life, and jobs in the area were scarce.
"We went west. There weren't any jobs out there, either," said Louis, now 90.
Neither brother wanted to join the Army, he said, so the Navy became a good option.
As Louis Boxrucker spoke of days gone by, his wife, Hilda, 80, sifted through papers and pulled out a booklet that described the laborious process undertaken to identify the remains of military personnel.
"It was DNA," she said, that positively identified Lawrence.
When Pearl Harbor was attacked, Louis Boxrucker's ship was in port in Bermuda.
"It took me two weeks to get to Pearl Harbor (following the attack). Everything was blown to hell. A lot of ships were sunk. The oil was everywhere. The tide would come in and out and bring in more oil," he said.
Louis Boxrucker remained in the Navy for five more years. The death of his brother was hard for him but especially hard for his parents, he said.
"His mother cried a lot. I think this would have meant a lot to them," Hilda Boxrucker said.
"It'll be something. All our children and their families are coming."
The gathering for the funeral also will celebrate life, and the day after they gather to honor Lawrence, the same friends and family members will join Hilda and Louis in celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.
"It's not often or easy to get everyone together like this," Hilda said.


WWII casualty on way home | stevenspointjournal.com | Stevens Point Journal
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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

#2 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 12:29 AM

"Because it was peacetime, servicemen weren't required to wear their identification tags, and Boxrucker's body and the bodies of about 600 others weren't identified."

I wasn't aware of this.
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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

#3 Skipper

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 04:39 PM

At last, a well deserved resting peace :poppy:

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#4 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 06:54 PM

Yes it is. Sad it took so long. Like I said I never knew that ID tags were only worn during wartime back then.
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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

#5 dgmitchell

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Posted 18 August 2008 - 12:46 AM

I can't imagine how hard it must have been for the surviving twin to live so many years without his brother. He must have a very loving and understanding wife, but 60 years of marriage would prove that anyway.

#6 McNett13

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 03:31 AM

His brother is my respected neighbor

#7 sebfrench76

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 04:20 AM

Indeed?That's incredible.Then tell him that in a small place in Normandy,a guy will have a thought,today while working,for his brother,as for all the casualties you suffered this day.A huge loss for him to loose his double.But without the USA,i will be speaking German today,if i ever had existed.

#8 ColHessler

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 12:01 PM

Fitting to read this today. Rest well, sailor.
:rk:"Today I was given a brigade of Tiger tanks. When I have a brigade of tanks, that is reality."

#9 TD-Tommy776

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 11:29 PM

His brother is my respected neighbor


Welcome to the forum, McNett13. Please pass on our respects to his brother as well as our appreciation for their (his brother's and his) service and sacrifice. :S!
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Freedom is precious and many gave their lives for it. It is the duty of the future generation
to remember that sacrifice, and offer some sacrifice for themselves if Freedom is threatened.

Cecil Earl Workman, WWII Veteran, "L" Co., 129th Inf. Regt., 37th Inf. Div.


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