SHe’since Dec. 7, 1941, he’s been presumed dead when Japanese planes bombed Pearl Harbor and set off a massive explosion that sank his battleship, the USS Arizona, launching the U.S. into World War II.
Now, his niece is among some families of crew members who are demanding the U.S. military take advantage of advances in DNA technology to identify 85 sailors and Marines from Arizona who was buried as unknowns. They say the military has disinterred and identified remains from other Pearl Harbor battleships and should do the same for their loved ones.
Arizona suffered more loss of life than any other ship at Pearl Harbor, with 1,177 dead. More than 900 went down with the ship and have remained entombed there ever since.
Kelly McKeague said his agency had spoken to the Navy about exhuming the Arizona unknowns and moving them to the ship without identifying them first. McKeague said it didn’t make “pragmatic sense” to place them.