World War II veteran's remains finally back home in Athens

Edgar Gross was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Posted: May 24, 2019 8:08 PM
Updated: May 24, 2019 10:41 PM

A World War II veteran's remains are on the way to his final resting place in his hometown.

Edgar Gross was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor. His remains were buried as an unknown soldier at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

He was recently identified and will be laid to rest on Memorial Day in Athens. His remains were flown into Huntsville's airport Friday evening.

The Limestone County Sheriff's Office and the Patriot Guard Riders escorted him to Athens.

Edgar Gross served on the U.S.S Oklahoma. His body remained unidentified for more than 77 years.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt's historic speech in 1941 after the bombing of Pearl Harbor means something entirely different to Steven Gross, because of his Great Uncle Edgar.

"My grandparents and aunts and uncles, they taught us at an early age from children and told us never to forget," said Gross.

Many of his family members aren't alive now to see him arrive home.

"We're living their dream is what it amounts to," said Gross.

Edgar Gross was 39 when he died. He was a Water Tender 2nd Class. His job helped power the U.S.S. Oklahoma, but he was also a firefighter on the ship.

"He would have probably been trying to put out the fires that were rampant on the ship," said Gross.

When DNA testing identified him last year, the family also learned he didn't suffer.

"He did not last very long from the time he was injured," said Gross.

The group of Patriot Guard Riders who helped escort him from the airport to Athens jumped at the opportunity to help the Gross family.

"It's a privilege and an honor to do this," said Jeff Tennyson with Patriot Guard Riders.

The ceremony on the tarmac at Huntsville International Airport, 77 years in the making, helps complete an unfinished chapter in the Gross family history book.

"It's closure for the family. We don't have to worry about where he's at and if they're going to find him. He's actually home," said Gross.

The Gross family is very grateful the Defense Prisoner of War Missing in Action Accounting Agency never stopped working to find and identify him.

Edgar Gross will be laid to rest on Memorial Day following a full police escort around the Athens area ending at Cherry Grove Baptist Church.

Huntsville
Few Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 63°
Florence
Scattered Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 64°
Fayetteville
Broken Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 63°
Decatur
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 60°
Scottsboro
Overcast
59° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 59°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22720374
Mobile14405314
Tuscaloosa10066137
Montgomery9820196
Madison907894
Shelby715361
Lee646165
Baldwin644369
Marshall431048
Calhoun416059
Etowah412249
Morgan400033
Houston365532
DeKalb325428
Elmore312852
St. Clair283842
Limestone273630
Walker269993
Talladega259135
Cullman231024
Lauderdale212540
Jackson205515
Autauga202130
Franklin201731
Colbert193330
Russell19053
Blount187325
Dallas186027
Chilton182632
Escambia171428
Coffee16829
Covington166629
Dale163851
Chambers133043
Pike131313
Tallapoosa129587
Clarke127317
Marion105029
Butler99840
Barbour9969
Marengo98222
Winston90613
Geneva8447
Lawrence81131
Pickens81117
Randolph80514
Bibb80114
Hale74830
Cherokee72314
Clay72212
Lowndes70228
Henry6386
Bullock63717
Monroe63610
Washington62312
Crenshaw59830
Perry5816
Wilcox55912
Fayette55713
Conecuh55613
Cleburne5327
Macon53020
Sumter46821
Lamar4595
Choctaw38712
Greene34016
Coosa1993
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 235861

Reported Deaths: 2970
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby34739553
Davidson30155328
Knox1208187
Hamilton11289104
Rutherford11165107
Williamson670751
Sumner5715107
Wilson445553
Putnam423054
Montgomery393351
Out of TN376135
Unassigned37554
Madison366579
Bradley344722
Sullivan332146
Sevier322421
Washington318244
Blount317032
Maury311236
Robertson251040
Hamblen236543
Tipton223522
Gibson207838
Dyer207126
Hardeman180432
Coffee178320
Trousdale17447
Obion166420
Bedford160620
Anderson159613
Fayette159622
Dickson159119
Greene157551
Wayne15697
Loudon156610
McMinn154232
Cumberland153624
Lawrence150518
Jefferson148320
Weakley145325
Carter143932
Monroe138227
Henderson137325
Warren136810
Lauderdale134517
Hardin133619
Macon126924
Franklin123416
Roane12247
Haywood120026
Overton115211
White112214
Hawkins111724
Johnson11157
Carroll110724
McNairy109626
Marshall10638
Rhea105916
Bledsoe9944
Cheatham98211
Lake9763
Smith95412
Cocke95212
Giles91134
Campbell8997
Fentress8698
Lincoln8302
Crockett80221
Henry75310
Hickman74513
Chester71514
Marion7159
DeKalb68616
Decatur64511
Grainger5464
Grundy52510
Union5142
Claiborne5066
Polk47613
Jackson4225
Humphreys4194
Morgan4167
Benton3969
Houston39215
Cannon3902
Clay37913
Unicoi3732
Lewis3582
Scott3444
Sequatchie3304
Stewart3128
Meigs2975
Perry2531
Pickett2505
Moore2492
Van Buren1951
Hancock1123

Community Events