Governor Mike Parson has ordered U.S. and Missouri flags to be flown at half-staff at all government buildings in Linn County on Saturday, from sunrise to sunset, in honor of WWII Navy Sailor George Merton Gooch. Parson said “We lower the flags to say thank you to U.S. Navy Sailor George Gooch for his and his family’s service and sacrifice. The entire State of Missouri joins George’s family and the Laclede community in honoring him and finally welcoming him home.”
George Gooch of Laclede was killed in action at the age of 22 during World War II on the Battleship USS Oklahoma when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. His remains were not identified until September 14, 2020, using family DNA from his grand-nephew.
Gooch will be laid to rest at the Laclede Cemetery on Saturday, at 1:00. He will receive Full Navy Military Funeral Honors conducted by the United States Navy. The funeral procession for George Gooch will pass in front of the Pershing Boyhood Home and pause in front of the General John J. Pershing statue before arriving at the Laclede Cemetery.