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Testing identifies remains of sailor from Kansas who died in Pearl Harbor attack

A POW/MIA flag flies over Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., Sept. 15, 2014, in remembrance of the nation's prisoners of war and missing in action. (Dennis Rogers/U.S. Air Force)

Testing has identified the remains of a sailor from Rush Center in Rush County who died during the Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7, 1941.

The remains of Navy Fireman 1st Class Harold E. Bates will be buried May 29 in Larned, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced in late April.

Bates was accounted for on Feb. 5, that agency said in a news release.

It indicated Bates, 27, was among 429 crewmen of the battleship USS Oklahoma who died when it sustained multiple torpedo attacks from Japanese aircraft, causing it to quickly capsize.

Bates had been in the Navy three years at the time of his death, according to the Find A Grave website.

Remains of the ship’s deceased crew members were buried in two cemeteries in Hawaii. Remains from those cemeteries were then dug up in 1947 by the American Graves Registration Service, which confirmed the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma.

The unidentified remains were buried in a mass grave at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Remains from the Punchbowl were then exhumed for analysis in 2015, according to the POW/MIA Accounting Agency news release.

Bates’ remains were subsequently identified using DNA, dental and anthropological analysis, it said.


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