His ship was hit by a torpedo during the 1941 attack
By Jill Kruse-Domeyer
Witness Editorial Assistant
TRAER — Nearly 77 years after his death, the relatives of William “Bill” Kvidera, a U.S. Navy sailor killed at Pearl Harbor during WWII, and residents of the Tama County area in which he was born and raised, recently had the opportunity to welcome their hero home.
A funeral Mass was held for Kvidera at St. Paul Parish in Traer on Nov. 16. Father Jon Seda concelebrated the Mass, along with Fathers Michael Hutchison and Paul Lippstock and Msgr. John Hemann. Representatives of the Navy were present to perform full military honors. Following the funeral, Kvidera was buried in the parish cemetery, where his parents and three of his brothers also rest.
Kvidera, who grew up on a farm between Toledo and Traer, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1940. He was assigned to the battleship the USS Oklahoma as a carpenter’s mate third class when Japanese aircraft attacked the ship on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941. The attack resulted in the deaths of more than 400 members of the ship’s crew, including Kvidera. He was 22 years old.