Remains of 2 USS Oklahoma Sailors Killed at Pearl Harbor Identified

Remains of 2 USS Oklahoma Sailors Killed at Pearl Harbor Identified Pearl Harbor, Group of white name sticks and black marble slab with texts at USS Oklahoma memorial The USS Oklahoma memorial in Oahu, Hawaii. (Dreamstime)

By Charlie McCarthy | Thursday, 04 November 2021 12:50 PM

The remains of two sailors killed at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, have been identified, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced.

Navy Seaman 1st Class Edward E. Talbert, 19, of Albemarle, North Carolina, and Marine Pfc. Walter L. Collier, 20, of Burbank, California, were identified, the agency said.

Talbert and Collier were among 429 USS Oklahoma crewmen killed after their ship was hit by multiple Japanese torpedoes and capsized.

Talbert's remains were identified Aug. 5. He will be buried March 26, 2022, in his hometown.

The seaman was identified through anthropological, mitochondrial DNA, and Y chromosome analyses, the agency said.

Collier's remains were identified May 25, and the family only recently received a full briefing. The Marine was identified through anthropological and mitochondrial DNA analyses, the agency said.

He will be buried Dec. 8 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

The names of Talbert and Collier are recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl — a nickname for the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific — along with the others who are missing from Wolrd War II. A rosette will be placed next to each of their names to indicate they've been accounted for.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu'uanu Cemeteries in Hawaii.

A majority of the remains recovered from the USS Oklahoma were not identified and were buried in 1949 in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, CBS News reported.

In 2015, it was announced the remains of nearly 400 sailors and Marines from the USS Oklahoma who were buried in Hawaii as "unknowns" after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 would be exhumed and identified.

Two other USS Oklahoma sailors' remains were identified last year and returned home. They were Navy Fireman First Class Hadley Heavin, 23, and Navy Coxswain Layton T. Banks, 20.