Final Accounting for the USS Oklahoma

| December 5, 2021

On 2 December 2021, DPAA announced the final accounting for the crew of the USS Oklahoma, sunk at Pearl Harbor, HI, on 7 December 1941. The remaining 33 unknowns from this ship were declared accounted for.

This personnel accounting was what DPAA referred to as a “group accounting”. Although the DPAA article could be more clearly worded, apparently this means that even with modern forensic techniques the remains in question were in such condition – or so little circumstantial and/or reference DNA evidence was available – that they could not be definitively individually identified. It’s also possible that no living family member eligible to provide a DNA sample useful in their identification was available (or came forward) to provide a reference sample.

An individual accounting for each and every one of these elder brothers-in-arms would have been preferable, and in a perfect world that would have been possible. Sadly, it appears that for these 33 individuals that was simply not feasible given today’s technology.

These individuals will be re-interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, AKA the “Punchbowl” this coming Tuesday. This coming Tuesday is 7 December 2021 – the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The individuals accounted for in this group accounting are listed below. Unless otherwise noted, all were members of the US Navy.

CEM William Ike Gurganus
CSN Thomas Zvansky,
US Naval Reserve
EM1c William McKnight Curry
EM1c Walter Benjamin Manning
WT1c Leo Basil Regan
OC1c Willie Jackson
MM2c James Rufus Buchanan
, US Naval Reserve
SF2c Algeo Victor Malfante
Mus1c Rowland Hampton Smith
GM2c John Layman Wortham
SK3c George Perry Foote
Y3c Harding Coolidge Blackburn
RM3c Frank Samuel Hoag, Jr.
SK3c Chester George Hord
RM3c Warren Joseph Kempf
Y3c Sam Douglas Nevill
SK3c Eldon Casper Ray
RM3c Clyde Ridenour, Jr.
OS3c Wilbur Slade Williams
Matt1c Randall Walter Brewer
FM2c George Edward Giesa
S1c Robert Emile Halterman
Mus2c Louis Edward Harris, Jr.
Mus2c James Junior Palides
S1c Jack Dewey White
Mus2c Albert Luther Williams
S2c Charles Homer Johannes
S2c Jimmie Lee Henrichsen
S2c Lloyd Elden McLaughlin
S2c William Lawrence Sellon
S2c Rangner Faber Tanner, Jr.
S2c Charles Edward Walters
Matt3c Jerry Jones

No other new accountings were announced this week by DPAA.

Welcome back, elder brother-in-arms. Our apologies that your return took so long, and that in your cases definitive individual identifications were apparently not feasible.

Rest easy. You’re home now.

. . .

Over 72,000 US personnel remain unaccounted for from World War II; over 7,500 US personnel remain unaccounted for from the Korean War; and over 1,500 remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia (SEA). Additionally, 126 US personnel remain unaccounted for from the Cold War; 5 remain unaccounted for from the Gulf Wars; and 1 individual remains unaccounted for from Operation Eldorado Canyon.

Comparison of DNA from recovered remains against DNA from some (but not all) blood relatives can assist in making a positive ID for unidentified remains that have already been recovered. The same is true for remains which may be recovered in the future.

On their web site’s Contact Us page DPAA now has FAQs. The answer to one of those FAQs describes who can and cannot submit DNA samples useful in identifying recovered remains. The chart giving the answer can be viewed here. The text associated with the chart is short and is found in one of the FAQs.

If your family lost someone in one of these conflicts who has not yet been accounted for and you qualify to submit a DNA sample, please arrange to submit one. By doing that you just might help identify the remains of a US service member who’s been repatriated but not yet been identified – as well as a relative of yours, however distant. Or you may help to identify remains to be recovered in the future.

Everybody deserves a proper burial. That’s especially true for those who gave their all while serving this nation.

Category: No Longer Missing

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Old tanker

May they rest in peace in honored glory in the arms of God.

Roh-Dog

Rest Well, Brothers.

KoB

Welcome Home Warriors. May your Sacrifice never be forgotten.

A Big BZ to the folks at DPAA for the fine job they did to identify these men. Nothing at all to be ashamed of for the success rate they had in this. SALUTE!

Thanks Hondo.

SFC (R) Blizz

Maybe there is something I’m not understanding. Shouldn’t there be a ships manifest with the names of every crew member? Shouldn’t they know who is missing? The work so far has been phenomenal and it demonstrates commitment to our elder fallen brothers in arms.

John Seabee

These 33 names are the ones whose physical remains cannot be positively identified by DPAA.

Hatchet

Welcome home and Rest in Peace, Warriors.

*slow*salute*

Thank you Hondo

A Proud Infidel®™

*Slow Salute*

Sparks

Welcome home Brothers. Rest in peace now.

John Seabee

Welcome home brothers. Although you cannot be reunited with your family and loved ones, you together with each other and laid in hallowed ground. Rest in Peace now and know we honor your service. Thanks for the update Hondo.

John Seabee

*are together…

RGR 4-78

Rest in Peace.

Skivvy Stacker

USS Oklahoma.
All Officers and Crew present and accounted for.

Stand by to man the rails.

The final port is now to be entered.

A 48 Star National Ensign flies at the Fantail. And the signal flags send the message; “Our long journey is done, we are coming home”.

Bill M

Rest in Eternal Peace with the Light of The Father shining upon you.

Jay

Eternal Father, strong to save, Whose arm does bind the restless wave, Who bids the mighty ocean deep Its own appointed limits keep; O hear us when we cry to Thee For those in peril on the sea. O Savior, whose almighty word The winds and waves submissive heard, Who walked upon the foaming deep, And calm amid the rage did sleep; O hear us when we cry to Thee For those in peril on… Read more »