Stauber offers legislation to rename Akeley Post Office in honor of soldier who died at Pearl Harbor
Todd joined the Navy in 1940 and was assigned to the USS Oklahoma as a Navy Fireman First Class. While stationed at Pearl Harbor, the ship was attacked by the Japanese air force on Dec. 7, 1941.
Congressman Pete Stauber, R-Hermantown, recently introduced legislation that would rename the Akeley Post Office after Neal Kenneth Todd, an Akeley native who perished during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Neal’s remains were recently identified and returned home to Akeley, where he was finally laid to rest next to his family. Every member of the Minnesota delegation cosponsored this legislation.
Stauber attended Todd’s funeral and presented his family with an American flag he had flown over the United States Capitol.
“Neal Kenneth Todd was a member of the Greatest Generation who laid down his life in defense of this exceptional country that we all have the privilege to call home,” Stauber said in a news release. “We must be forever grateful to this hero for his defense of American freedom, so I am proud to lead legislation to rename the Akeley post office in his honor as it will help ensure Minnesotans remember his courage and sacrifice for many years to come.”
Stauber recently gave a floor speech on the House Floor in honor of Neal’s brave service and sacrifice.
Todd joined the Navy in 1940 and was assigned to the USS Oklahoma as a Navy Fireman First Class. While stationed at Pearl Harbor, the ship was attacked by the Japanese air force on Dec. 7, 1941. Neal’s brother, Wesley Todd, was also serving on the USS Oklahoma during the bombing. Wesley was fortunate to escape the sinking ship, but Neal’s fate was unknown to the Todd family for months. Neal was later pronounced dead and awarded the Purple Heart.
He is honored at the USS Oklahoma Memorial and Honolulu Memorial of the Courts of the Missing. The remains of Neal and other service members were recovered in the months following the attack but were not identified by the U.S. Department of Defense until a 2015 Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency project.
On Feb. 11, 2021, Neal’s remains were successfully matched to his family. He was reunited with his brother, Orville Staffenhagen, and sister, Karyn Stiffler, July 10, in Akeley. Neal was buried with full military honors next to his younger brother, Alfred Staffenhagen Jr., who also served in the U.S. Navy, and his mother Irena.