The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced this week six sailors killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor have been accounted for.
On Dec. 7, 1941, these sailors were assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen.
The six sailors identified were: Navy Fireman 1st Class James O. McDonald, 25, of Levelland; Navy Seaman 1st Class Walter C. Stein, 20, of Cheyenne, Wyoming; Navy Mess Attendant 1st Class Octavius Mabine, 21, of Portsmouth, Virginia; Navy Ship’s Cook 1st Class Rodger C. Butts, 47, of Portsmouth, Virginia; Navy Fireman 1st Class Hal J. Allison, 21; and Navy Fireman 2nd Class Edward E. Casinger, 21.
From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.
In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks.
The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable.
Between June and November 2015, DPAA personnel exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknowns from the Punchbowl for analysis.
To identify McDonald’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis. Additionally, scientists from the A