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Pearl Harbor veteran’s remains coming home

MECCA — Mary Ann Ryther had just gone to take a nap when she got a phone call she and her family had been waiting for since 1941.

Her husband, Harold, woke her up ä telling her to take the call.

“He comes in on the phone and says, ‘They want you on the phone.’ I had no idea what this was about,” Mary Ann said, recalling that March day this year. “I thought he was just giving me updates, but he said, ‘I just wanted to let you know that your uncle has been identified.”

The Dec. 7 attack on Pearl Harbor killed Navy Patternmaker 1st Class Stanislaw Drwall while he was aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma. Mary Ann’s family has never known where his remains were — or if they even existed.

It wasn’t until 2010 that the family even knew there were remains from the Oklahoma, let alone if any were Drwall.

Eleven years later, his remains were finally identified so he can be given a proper burial in his hometown of Thomas, W.Va.

“I lost it completely. I could not believe it after 11 years that I’ve been trying to get him back,” Mary Ann said.

Read much MORE of this riveting tale in Sunday’s TRIBUNE CHRONICLE.

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