One of North Clark County’s servicemembers killed in action during the Pearl Harbor attack is finally back home after more than 80 years.
On Jan. 3, a group of family members and representatives of veterans groups gathered to bury Daryle Artley, who was a U.S. Navy quartermaster second class, next to his parents at Park Hill Cemetery in Vancouver.
Artley was 21 when he was killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was assigned to the USS Oklahoma and was one of 429 crewmen on the ship who died, stated a news release from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA).
He was initially buried at a cemetery in Hawaii until the DPAA was able to identify him. The confirmation of Artley’s identity was announced by the DPAA in September of 2019.
Artley served on the USS Oklahoma alongside his younger brother, Richard, and their friend, Francis Dick. Dick’s remains have also been identified through the DPAA. He was buried at the Fort Vancouver Military Cemetery in 2019.
Adam Dunn, Artley’s great nephew, recalls attending Dick’s ceremony. He said the two families have remained “extremely close” over the decades.
“We sat at that funeral and discussed how awesome it would be to find Daryle as well,” Dunn said.
Though Dunn didn’t know Artley personally, he recalled stories from family members who painted a picture of a young man who could do many things. He played multiple sports and music in high school and was a capable dancer.
“The man was extremely talented,” Dunn said. “He did everything.”
Dunn said Artley was initially scheduled for burial in May of 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic postponed those plans. He recalled how Artley’s mother was impacted by the loss of her son.
“It tortured her. One, to lose a son, there’s probably nothing worse, unless it’s to lose a son and not being able to bring him home,” Dunn said. “It was really a relief for all of us to be able to bury him right next to her.”
Outside of the closure for the family, Dunn noted he’s been contacted by area residents who knew about his great-uncle. Dunn said he has also heard stories about Artley from their older relatives.
Artley’s body was transported to Portland International Airport the prior Friday. Dunn said multiple agencies ensured Artley’s return to Clark County was a dignified process that welcomed the late servicemember home.
“As a family member, it was awesome to have him home,” Dunn said. “But the bigger picture for me was the respect and honor that so many people showed.”
Dunn, who is a veteran, said the ceremony reminded him of the honor given to those in the military by the community at large.
“Sometimes you can forget that there’s still a lot of people out there who respect the people who serve and make a sacrifice for our freedoms,” Dunn said.