Pentagon to Exhume and Identify Remains of Sailors and Marines Killed at Pearl Harbor

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at Sen. Daniel Inouye's funeral in 2012 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, home to the unidentified remains of those killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. (PHOTO CREDIT: Pool / Getty Images)
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at Sen. Daniel Inouye’s funeral in 2012 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, home to the unidentified remains of those killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. (PHOTO CREDIT: Pool / Getty Images)

The Pentagon will exhume and identify remains from as many as 388 sailors and Marines who died aboard the Navy ship Oklahoma when it was hit by torpedoes during the Pearl Harbor attacks in Hawaii.

The service members’ remains have lain in graves marked “Unknown” in Hawaii since they were removed from the sunken battleship in the years after the Dec. 7, 1941, attack by Japan before the U.S. had entered World War II.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon announced it would use medical and dental records and family DNA samples to identify the remains. Evidence indicates that most — but not all — of the crew members can be identified, the Pentagon said.

“The secretary of Defense and I will work tirelessly to ensure your loved ones’ remains will be recovered, identified, and returned to you as expeditiously as possible, and we will do so with dignity, respect and care,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work said in a statement.

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SOURCE: LA Times, W. J. Hennigan

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