A Trumbull County family paid their final respects on Memorial Day to a native Navy sailor who went missing 75 years ago.

Navy Seaman Second Class Robert Emmett Carey, 20, of Leavittsburg, was on board the USS Grayback when it sank in 1944. The submarine went down during World War II in a battle with Japan. A total of 80 navy members went down with the submarine.

Carey's family, members of the community and Warren city leaders gathered for a wreath ceremony organized by the Trumbull County Veteran's Services office.

A single wreath was cast into the Mahoning River right behind the Warren Community Ampitheatre.

One of Carey's closest surviving relatives just 14 when she learned he was lost at sea.

"My aunt, she sent a notice that told us he had been missing in action," Kathleen Wertz said, Carey's cousin. "He was a wonderful saxophone player and he joined the Navy to get in the band, but when he got in there, they didn't have a place for him.

The Lost 52 Project discovered the USS Grayback in November of 2019 off the shore of Okinawa, Japan.

Wertz reached out to the Trumbull County veterans services office to confirm Carey was on the submarine. The office then decided to hold a special tribute for Carey this year.

"Their spirit lives by remembering them on this particular day," Jim Rapone said, Trumbull County Veteran's Commissioner. "We die twice-- once when we stop breathing and the other time when people stop talking about us."

Rapone tells 21 News he'd like to have a brick with Carey's name placed at the Veteran's memorial in downtown Warren.