Ceremony honors USS Oklahoma crew members exhumed from 'unknown' graves

Ceremony honors USS Oklahoma crew members exhumed from 'unknown' graves
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JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM (HawaiiNewsNow) - Families of hundreds of USS Oklahoma crew members killed in the 1941 Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor will soon get some closure as officials exhume their remains and identify these individuals.

A special ceremony will be held Monday at 7 a.m. at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific -- or Punchbowl -- to honor the fallen service members who were unaccounted for during World War II and were buried as unknowns. After the ceremony, their remains will be sent to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency – or DPAA -- for identification.

The Department of Defense announced in April that the remains of up to 388 unaccounted-for sailors and Marines, associated with the USS Oklahoma, would be exhumed and transferred to the DPAA lab for identification.

A total of 429 sailors and Marines were killed when the USS Oklahoma was hit by torpedoes during the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. In the years immediately following, 35 crew members were positively identified and buried.

At 10 a.m., DPAA will also host a blessing and dedication ceremony at the new Senator Daniel K. Inouye Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Center of Excellence at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

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