100th Oklahoma Sailor identified

U.S. Navy honor guardsmen assigned to Navy Region Hawaii carry the casket of Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Arthur Glenn at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Aug. 21.

Story and photo by MC1 Tyler Thompson

DPAA Public Affairs

Editor’s note: Pearl Harbor survivor Ray Emory was instrumental in identifying the USS Oklahoma and other unknowns.

Crisp white uniforms contrast the verdant green sea of the cemetery. Some of them bear ceremonial rifles while the rest gather under a small awning, standing at perfect attention. A wall of silver-haired veterans render a somber salute, the medals stippling their hats gleaming under the noonday sun.

A family of three sits in the front of the crowd as the white uniforms float a flag-draped casket. On command, six Sailors set the casket in front of a woman and two men. Twenty-one gunshots echo into the distance as the flag is removed from the casket and doubled end-over-end until it becomes a perfect triangle. One of the Sailors takes the folded flag and studies its edges and corners. She kneels before the woman and with a whisper of condolence, places the flag in her hands.

Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Arthur Glenn

Nearly 75 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the100th USS Oklahoma Sailor to be identified by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), was laid to rest Aug. 21.

Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Arthur Glenn of Ft. Wayne, Indiana was buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl).

The USS Oklahoma capsized after multiple torpedo hits during the attack on Pearl Harbor, resulting in the deaths of more than 429 crew members. Three hundred eighty-eight personnel remained unidentified, including Glenn, and were purposely commingled then buried at Punch-bowl until 2015 when DPAA disinterred the 60 caskets to identify the unknown remains.

“A promise was made by our nation that we would provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing heroes and return them to their families,” said Kelly McKeague, director of DPAA. “Our agency remains steadfast in completing that task and we are extremely humbled to provide answers and some solace to the Glenn family.”

The Machinist’s Mate’s remains were repatriated to his great niece and nephew, Danielle Myers and Matt Glenn, and a flag was presented to them during the burial.

“This funeral isn’t just for my uncle, it’s for all our missing (Sailors),” Myers said. “Knowing that my uncle was honored, and to see these Sailors honor him is special and precious — too precious to put into words.”

Arthur Glenn’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, alongside his comrades who are still missing from the Oklahoma. A rosette will be placed next to his name at the memorial to indicate that he has been accounted for.

Since disinterring all of the USS Oklahoma unknowns, DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System-Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory have been painstakingly analyzing the remains using the latest anthropological, dental, and DNA methods and procedures. To date, 158 of these unknowns have been identified.

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Category: News