Thursday at 5 PM: Bringing Dante Home

Created: December 04, 2018 08:58 AM

A young sailor... wanted to see the world.  Dante Tini was the baby of an Italian immigrant family.

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"He was adventurous," described his niece, Renee Prout.

After graduating from Virginia in 1940, he enlisted in the Navy. 

"As a radioman, he sent and received messages off the ship," Prout added.

Stationed at Pearl Harbor, Dante was set to return home for the holidays. But he never made it.

Killed at Pearl Harbor.

December 7, 1941, torpedoes from the Japanese sank his ship, the USS Oklahoma.

Back at home, devastated parents.  His family heard the news on the radio and feared the worst.

When that dreaded telegram came a few weeks later, "The whole block could hear his parents screaming," shared Barb Maki, another niece.

The Tini family grew and expanded over the years. His parents and siblings kept Dante alive, through memories. "They talked about him. They'd say, wonder what Dante would be doing now? I wonder if he'd be here with us," Maki added.

There was a hole in their hearts. Dante's remains were never identified.

Then, in 2012, Maki got a call about the government trying to match DNA remains from the Oklahoma. Dante's family submitted four samples.

Again, time went on. "They kept us posted, they said it was going to take a while," Maki said.

In August of this year, came the call they had hoped and prayed for. There was a match! Now, the family is looking forward to laying Dante to rest, next to his beloved parents. They chose a significant time for it as well, on Memorial Day weekend.

"This is going to be a wonderful day for our family," Prout shared.

Bringing Dante Home. Thursday at 5 p.m. on WDIO News.

Copyright 2018 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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