News Article

Connecticut observing Half Staff.

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Monday, October 8, 2018

(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that he is directing U.S. and state flags in Connecticut to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Monday, October 8, 2018 in honor of U.S. Navy Water Tender 1st Class Stephen Pepe of Bridgeport, who was killed in action in the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and whose remains were recently identified and returned to his family. A burial with full military honors is being held Monday in Bourne, Massachusetts.

Accordingly, since no flag should fly higher than the U.S. flag, all other flags - including state, municipal, corporate, or otherwise - should also be lowered during this same duration of time.

Governor Malloy said, "Navy Water Tender 1st Class Stephen Pepe gave his life for our country, and we will be forever grateful for his service. Over seven decades after he made the ultimate sacrifice in a battle that marked one of the darkest days in American history, he is returning to his family and will receive a proper burial. I ask all Connecticut residents to join me in honoring Stephen Pepe's memory and sacrifice."

Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said, "I am thankful to Navy Water Tender 1st Class Stephen Pepe for his service and sacrifice to our country. In 1941, Pepe and many servicemen were killed in the Pearl Harbor attack and were considered missing. After 77 years, Pepe's remains have been finally returned home for the proper burial that he deserves. Connecticut is grateful for his service to our nation and we are glad he has finally returned after all of these years from battle."

On December 7, 1941, Pepe was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, a battleship moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Pepe.

In 2015, the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency disinterred remains from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

Pepe's name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.