Technological Advances Help Identify Bodies From USS Oklahoma

Monday, December 7th 2015, 10:45 pm
By: News 9

Monday marked the 74th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. 

Four hundred twenty-nine Americans died on the USS Oklahoma. 

For decades, many of those who lost their lives in that American battleship have gone unidentified.  

However, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said technological advances allow them to identify — through dental records -- as many as 80 percent of the Marines and sailors who were buried in mass graves. 

So far, seven sets of remains have been recovered, and are in the process of identification.  

However, local historian Kevin King said while the process will result in closure for some, he’s not so sure it’s a good idea.

I wouldn’t disturb the grave,” he said. “That’s like going to any battlefield, and the Little Big Horn for example, and digging up all those guys, and trying to locate the family.” 

Holdenville native Lloyd Carter, 96, was on the USS California when it was sunk by Japanese torpedoes during the Pearl Harbor attack.

“I remember a fella that was burned so bad, he was begging us to kill him,” Carter said from his assisted living facility Monday.  “He wanted to die.” 

Carter said he didn’t have an opinion about whether new technology should be used to identify fallen crew members of the USS Oklahoma.  

“No, I don’t think so. It’s been a long time ago,” he said.