USS Oklahoma sailors killed in Pearl Harbor attack to be reinterred

Updated: Jul. 7, 2017 at 3:34 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The remains of two previously-unknown sailors from the attack on Pearl Harbor will be reinterred at Punchbowl cemetery next week.

Lab tests of the remains of the two sailors from the USS Oklahoma revealed the men to be seamen Paul Raimond and Robert Monroe Temple.

Both men were killed in action during the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

Navy Seaman First Class Paul S. Raimond from Converse, La. was 20 years old aboard the ship when it was attacked by a Japanese aircraft and multiple torpedoes.

Navy Seaman First Class Robert Monroe Temple was just 19 years old on the ship. He wrote a letter to his family a month before the attack, but never returned home.

For his family, the opportunity to honor Temple provides healing after nearly eight decades.

"I can't tell you what that meant to our family," said John Temple, Robert Temple's nephew and pastor at Faith Family Church in Shiloh, Ill.. "He's a World War II hero that's waited 75 years to get the honor that he deserved."

Raimond and Temple were among the 429 crewmen who lost their lives on the USS Oklahoma.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency tested the remains back in 2015. Since then, the families of the sailors decided to rebury the remains at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as "Punchbowl."

The separate ceremonies will take place on July 11 and 12 at Committal Plaza, where the men will be recognized with full military honors.

John Temple said the Navy's efforts to identify and honor those lost in combat brings hope to his family, and many others left without closure.

"We are grateful of all the navy did to honor him," Temple said. "It refreshed the gratitude in our hearts for this nation."

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