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How the personnel killed at Pearl Harbor were determined decades later | WJMN

FILE – On December 7, 2019, a photo taken, a U.S. Marine stands in front of the USS Missouri during a ceremony commemorating the 78th anniversary of the Japanese attack, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Several veterans and government officials will gather in Missouri on Wednesday, September 2, 2020, in Hawaii to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the surrender. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones, File)

OAHU, Hello. (NEXSTAR) – On the day that will live in infamy – December 7, 1941 – 2,403 US personnel were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Eighty years later, many of those killed are finally able to return home and rest in peace.

Between those killed more than 1,700 people on the USS Arizona, 103 on the USS California and nearly 430 on the USS Oklahoma. After the attack, many of those killed were not able to be recovered from the ships they were on. The others could not be identified but were laid to rest in Hawaii. That changed decades after the attack when the POW/MIA Defense Accounting Agency (DPAA) was working to identify those killed in the Pearl Harbor attack.

NS Department of Defense Rely on DNA to identify remains, by assisting anthropology and archaeological analysis of recovered skeletons or as the primary means of identification. If the DOD is missing a reference form from the missing individual, they can use samples from family members.

After family members submit their DNA, DOD uses this chart to determine what type of donor the individual might be. There are some relatives whose DNA cannot be used for MtDNA or nuclear DNA analysis, such as a soldier’s granddaughter on the side of their brother, their aunt or their grandfather.

On December 2, DPAA announced 33 sailors from USS Oklahoma have been counted late October 2021. Between June and November 2015, DPAA personnel exhumed the remains of the USS Oklahoma Unknowns from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, or Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

Using historical and modern identification efforts, such as DNA, 396 of the 429 sailors and marines killed on the USS Oklahoma were identified. According to the DPAA, laboratory analysis and circumstantial evidence have shown that the remains cannot match individual sailors. These remains – 33 in total – are designated as group remains, which would be Burial at Punchbowl on December 7, 2021, the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

PRESENTATION: Pearl Harbor Attack
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Among those identified using DNA analysis was Navy Fireman 3 Class William L. Barnett, was 21 years old when he was killed aboard the USS West Virginia during the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was one of 106 people killed when the ship was hit by multiple torpedoes. ONE DPAA fact sheet shows that 79 sets of remains from the USS West Virginia have been positively identified while the rest remain undetermined.

During the attack, 103 crew members of the USS California were killed. Among them, DPAA reports 42 were buried as known remains and another 40 were positively identified during laboratory analysis. As many as 25 unidentified remains may have been linked to the USS California, meaning crew members from other ships in the area may have died aboard the USS California.

Remains of a sailor from USS Arizona, Navy Radioman Class 2 Floyd A. Wells, 24, of Cavalier, North Dakota, was identified among the remains associated with another ship, the USS Oklahoma. After the USS Arizona was hit by more than half a dozen aerial bombs, causing an explosion and a fire that burned for two days, 1,777 crew members were killed. Most of them have never been recovered from the wreckage. According to the DPAA, their remains are Buried in the USS Arizona Memorial.

As of December 1, 2021, the DPAA reports more than 81,600 Americans are still missing after World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and the Gulf War or other conflicts. Of those, more than 41,000 are believed to be lost at sea in events such as loss of ships and known aircraft water losses. To see the full list of those still missing, click here.

https://www.upmatters.com/news/national/how-remains-of-personnel-killed-in-pearl-harbor-are-identified-decades-later/ How the personnel killed at Pearl Harbor were determined decades later | WJMN

Emma Bowman

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