Markesan Sailor Killed At Pearl Harbor Laid To Rest

(Markesan) Nearly 80 years after 19-year-old Keefe Connolly of Markesan left the community to serve in the Navy his remains are finally home. Keefe was one of 429 sailors who lost their lives during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Connolly’s ship, the USS Oklahoma, was built to withstand nine torpedoes. The Japanese hit it with 12 and Keefe was one of 385 sailors who went down with the ship. Bill Smith’s father was the scoutmaster of Connolly’s Boy Scout troop. He told those gathered in the Markesan Middle School Gym Monday they were in on a very rare event.

In Markesan, the Abendroth-Connolly American Legion Post 282 is named after Connolly and a soldier from Markesan that died during World War I. Post commander Dick Severson was emotional as he recounted how 38 members of the post got it renamed in October of 1946. Among those members was Smith’s father Sam and Keefe’s father Richard Connolly. Three members of that scout troop went on to serve in the Navy during World War II. All three were killed in action; Keefe Connolly was the last to be returned home. His 92-year-sister Rosemary was at the ceremony.