Burgum orders flags flown at half-staff in honor of Willow City man who died at Pearl Harbor

Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 3:00pm

BISMARCK, N.D. - Gov. Doug Burgum today directed all government agencies to fly the United States and North Dakota flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Sunday, Aug. 13, in observance of the burial of Navy Fireman 1st Class Lawrence Fecho.

Fecho, who was a 20-year-old sailor stationed on the USS Oklahoma in Pearl Harbor when the ship was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941, will be buried with full military honors during a service in Willow Creek. Fecho is the second North Dakotan this year whose remains have been identified through DNA testing by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Gunners Mate 1st Class Arthur C. Neuenschwander was also on board the USS Oklahoma when it was attacked. His remains were identified earlier this year and returned to his hometown of Fessenden for burial in June.

Fecho was the 10th of 12 children of William and Katherine Fecho. The family lived on a farm near Willow City. The youngest and only surviving sibling, Betty Fecho Anderson, is now 90 and lives in Mesa, Ariz. The family’s military roots trace back to World War I, when an uncle on each side of the family served. Three of Lawrence’s brothers also served in World War II, one of whom died in action in Sicily. 

“We are grateful for all those of the Greatest Generation who served our nation and who are now coming home at last,” Burgum said. “We join the family of Navy Fireman 1st Class Lawrence Fecho and the community of Willow City in honoring our North Dakota hero.”