U.S. Navy sailor laid to rest after 8 decades

U.S. Navy sailor laid to rest after 8 decades
Lt. Cmdr. Yoon Choi, chaplain, Naval Base Ventura (NBVC) takes a picture with the family of Shipfitter 1st Class Charles F. Perdue, assigned to the Nevada-class battleship USS Oklahoma (BB-37) was laid to rest May 8, 2022, 81-years after being killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Photo credit U.S. Navy

81 years after he was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor, Shipfitter 1st Class Charles F. Perdue, assigned to the Nevada-class battleship USS Oklahoma (BB-37) was laid to rest May 8, 2022.

Perdue, who joined the Navy in Calif., was aboard the Oklahoma, moored at Pearl Harbor, during the surprise attack from the Japanese on Dec. 7, 1941, which killed 429 crewmen, including Perdue.

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Delivering remarks to the family, Lt. Cmdr. Yoon Choi, chaplain, Naval Base Ventura (NBVC) stated that the attack on Pearl Harbor killed a total of 2,404 Americans.

“Everything happens for a purpose under heaven,” said Choi. “Without the sacrifice of Petty Officer Purdue aboard the USS Oklahoma, there would not be a surrender aboard the USS Missouri. Those brave Sailors who died during Pearl Harbor are the cornerstones of what we are today.”`

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced Perdues remains had been recovered and identified in a press release issued Jan. 24, 2022.

To identify Perdues exhumed remains, scientists from DPAA conducted dental and anthropological analysis aided by scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System providing autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis.

Navy Sailor laid to rest after 8 decades
1st Class Charles F. Perdue Photo credit U.S. Navy

"It's a great honor to show respect for this American hero who died serving his country and reflect on what it means to be a patriot," said Rear Admiral Robert Nowakowski, Reserve Vice Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. "I assure you that the legacy of Petty Officer Perdue who perished on a day of infamy, will be carried onward by those young men and women who serve today."

Members of the NBVC Honor Guard, a selectively manned unit that provides Naval ceremonial customs and courtesies, conducted a rifle-salute, and stood watch over Perdue’s silver casket.

"Our shipmate gave his life for our country, and he deserves to be brought home," said Air Traffic Controller 1st Class Timothy Gardner, assigned to NBVC honor guard. "This memorial sends a clear message that we will honor and remember the sacrifice of our shipmates, even if it's 81-years later."

Perdue was laid to rest beside his widow who lived to be 92 and never remarried.

“We can finally offer closure to the family and re-unite our Shipmate with his wife, Helen,” said Choi. “As a Chaplain and Naval Officer, this is my highest-honor.”

NBVC is comprised of three distinct operational facilities: Point Mugu, Port Hueneme and San Nicolas Island. It is Ventura County’s largest employer and protects Southern California’s largest coastal wetlands through its award-winning environmental program.