Jarvis Godwin Outland thumbnail

Jarvis Godwin "Buddy" Outland

September 8, 1920 - December 7, 1941

MURFREESBORO – Nearly 80 years after first reporting for duty aboard the USS Oklahoma, Jarvis Godwin Outland is finally coming home to Murfreesboro.

Outland – who served in the U.S. Navy, enlisting in 1938 – held the rank of Fireman First Class on the famed battleship that was anchored at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. That ship was among those sunk or severely damaged during a surprise attack by the Japanese Navy. Four hundred twenty nine crewmen on the Oklahoma lost their lives on that day, to include Outland.

In the weeks and months following this wartime disaster, Outland’s body was listed as “non-recoverable” by the U.S. Navy. That all changed beginning in 2015 when the U.S. Department of Defense issued a directive to identify those unknown heroes. In most all cases, DNA was used in that effort.

Since 2017, more than 100 crewmen of the Oklahoma have been moved from “unknown” status to “recovered.” Outland is among those. His remains were officially identified on March 19 of this year.

“I’m just so grateful that he’s coming home,” said Ann Parker, the niece of the late Jarvis Godwin Outland.

With full Naval Military Honors, Outland’s remains will be interred during an 11:30 a.m. graveside service on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Riverside Cemetery in Murfreesboro. There, he will be laid to rest next to his father, Jacob, and brother, Clinton.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Red Cross in memory of all military veterans lost in battle.

Outland was awarded two awards, both posthumously – The American Defense Service Medal and The World War II Victory Medal.

Jarvis Godwin Outland was born Sept. 8, 1920 to Jacob Holloman and Eva Cotton Holloman Outland in the Murfreesboro/St. John area of Hertford County. He was known by his nickname – “Buddy” – by family and friends.

His siblings – listed in order of their birth (and now all deceased) – were Ruth Thelma, Huldah, Sarah Ann, Sallie Mae, John Moore, Ada Helen, Collin David, Horace Lee, Clinton J., and Reather Teister Outland. “Buddy” Outland was the youngest child.

Buddy Outland, a 1937 graduate of Murfreesboro High School and a member of Murfreesboro United Methodist Church, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in Norfolk, VA on July 5, 1938. Due to the fact that he was only 17-years-old at the time, his father signed the enlistment papers, giving his blessing for his young son to serve in the military.

He reported for duty on the USS Oklahoma on Nov. 10, 1938. Assigned to Pearl Harbor, the Oklahoma only made two trips back to the mainland prior to that fateful Sunday morning in 1941….both times to the West Coast for repairs.

Parker said there was a sense of pride among her family that one of their members served and died in defense of freedom.

“They were proud and honored for the capacity in which he served,” Parker noted. “He devoted his service, and his life, to his country. His name is always mentioned lovingly among family members.”

By Cal Bryant

Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald in Ahoskie, N.C.



Service Information

Service Information

Date: Saturday, November 3, 2018

Time: 11:30 am


Riverside Cemetery

Murfreesboro, NC 27855

Cemetery Information

Donation Information

American Red Cross

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Red Cross in memory of all military veterans lost in battle.

Phone: 800-435-7669

Donate Now

Life Event Timeline

Help tell the story of Buddy by contributing to the Life Event Timeline. Upload the photo of an event...

Post an Event

Leave a Condolence

View All Condolences Post a Condolence

What our families say...

“You paid attention to my wishes and answered all my questions.”


A Session ID is required to purchase jewelry with your loved one's fingerprint, click here to continue. If you do not have an ID, click here to contact us to get your Session ID.