Remains Of Three USS Oklahoma Sailors Identified

Friday, September 21st 2018, 1:49 pm
By: News On 6

Three sailors that served on the USS Oklahoma during the attack on Pearl Harbor have been accounted for.

Navy Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Merle A. Smith, Navy Seaman 2nd Class David B. Edmonston, and Navy Seaman 1st Class Millard Burk were killed during the attack in which the USS Oklahoma capsized due to multiple torpedo hits. 

Altogether, 429 men on board the World War II battleship were killed. Only 35 were identified in the years immediately after.

More than 2,400 sailors, Marines and soldiers were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Oklahoma's casualties were second only to the USS Arizona, which lost 1,177 men.

The sailor's names are recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with the others who are missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to their names to indicate they have been accounted for.

In June on 2015, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) began digging up the remains of nearly 400 USS Oklahoma sailors and Marines from a veterans cemetery in Honolulu where they were buried as "unknowns."

11/10/2015 Related Story: Remains Of 7 Pearl Harbor 'Unknowns' From USS Oklahoma Identified

The military said it started the project because advances in forensic science and technology are improving the ability to identify remains.

Interment services are pending; more details will be released 7-10 days prior to scheduled funeral services.

For more information about DPAA, visit