The battleship USS Arizona belches smoke as it topples over into the sea during a Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in this Dec. 7, 1941 file photo. One contained nothing but upper arm bones. Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker. By Jim Mendoza | August 8, 2018 at 7:14 PM HST - Updated August 14 at 1:00 PM . Skulls were retained in the lab in Hawaii, where forensic dentists are based. Some trapped sailors tried to stem the in-rushing water with rags and even the board from a board game. At 7:45 a.m., on Dec. 7, the USS Oklahoma’s 24-member band, like the bands of other ships in the harbor that day, had assembled on deck for the morning colors ceremony. The Arizona … “For them, they’ve been waiting for this for 70 years,” he said last week. Others managed to escape by swimming underwater to find their way out. Cremated remains of these crewmen are put in an urn which would is placed under one of the ship’s gun turrets by a diver. Mess attendant Octavius Mabine, who had been in the Navy only two years and whose mother, Essie, lived in Portsmouth, Va.; Marine 2nd Lt. Harry H. Gaver Jr., who was born in Annapolis and whose father had taught at the Naval Academy; and Machinist Mate Eugene K. Eberhardt, of Newark. Some have blue tags tied with string, identifying the type of bone. One distraught man tried to drown himself. And that’s why we’re doing it now.”. And some had suffered other injuries, such as skull fractures, to which their bones still attest, Zinni said. Salvage Work on USS Arizona, 1942-43. In the months, and years, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the handling of the crew’s remains was plagued by error, confusion and poor record keeping. Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, who heads the DPAA, said he recently met in Maine with relatives of the Oklahoma’s unidentified. Similar telegrams went out across the country. DNA samples have been gathered from relatives of most the crew for comparison with DNA taken from the bones. Now, seven decades later, the government is trying to put names to the old salts and teenage sailors who died when their ship was sunk by enemy torpedoes Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941. The wreck of the USS Arizona currently lies in Pearl Harbor. The chief tool at the time was the comparison of prior dental records with the teeth of the deceased. William Trapp, of La Porte, Ind., probably got one, or two, about his sons Harold and William, both of whom died on the ship. For views of USS Arizona at the time of her destruction, see: USS Arizona during the Pearl Harbor Attack. The book was still marked with a page ribbon for Dec. 8 prayers, including the Old Testament’s Eighth Psalm. The ship was sent to Turkey in 1919 at the beginning of the Greco … were recovered and soon identified. Dental and medical records had to be found. “It was a very tough time for the family. Each casket, on average, contained five to seven bundles, but one held 21 and another 22, DPAA anthropologists said. A memorial was built at the USS Arizona site, thanks in part to Elvis Presley. Pearl Harbor survivors can have their ashes scattered over Pearl Harbor. In 2003, researcher and Pearl Harbor survivor Ray Emory, now 94, used files he unearthed in the National Archives about one Oklahoma sailor to get officials to dig up a casket believed to contain his remains. The flagpole has a new home at the Veterans' Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix. Seventy-five years ago today, the attack on Pearl Harbor changed the world. [WWII weathermen, lost at sea, finally get their Purple Hearts. Considered beyond repair, it was sold for scrap. The water “really co-mingled the remains in the ship itself,” she said in a recent telephone interview. And Peter Barber, of New London, Wis., may have gotten three, regarding his sons Leroy, Malcolm and Randolph, all of whom perished on the ship. 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