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Remains of USS Oklahoma sailor identified nearly 80 years after Pearl Harbor attack

BOISE, Idaho — About 80 years after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, a sailor who died during the attacks has had his remains identified.

The remains of Navy Boilermaker 1st Class William E. Blanchard who was killed at Pearl Harbor while serving on the USS Oklahoma, were identified through DNA testing conducted by an agency within the U.S. Department of Defense, the Idaho Statesman reported Wednesday.

Blanchard was 24 when he was aboard the warship, which was struck by multiple torpedoes and capsized.

Since the 1950s, almost 400 sailors and Marines from the ship were buried without identification at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

In this Dec. 5, 2012, file photo, a gravestone identifying the resting place of seven unknowns from the USS Oklahoma is shown at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. (Audrey McAvoy/AP)
Military IDs 100 killed on USS Oklahoma in Pearl Harbor

The military has identified 100 sailors and Marines killed when the USS Oklahoma capsized during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 76 years ago, officials said Friday.

In 2015, officials at the Department of Defense approved DNA testing for those buried. Until then, only six of the buried soldiers had been identified, according to the Department of Defense.

William Eugene Blanchard’s grandson, Chris Blanchard, said the soldier’s son and another family member provided DNA samples. The Department of Defense was able to identify William Eugene Blanchard’s legs, part of his pelvic bone and most of his skull.

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