MILITARY

Military to disinter hundreds of unaccounted-for Pearl Harbor dead to identify them

  • FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2012 file photo, a gravestone identifying the resting place of 7 unknowns from the USS Oklahoma is shown at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. The Pentagon says it will disinter and try to identify the remains of up to 388 unaccounted for sailors and Marines killed when the USS Oklahoma sank in the 1941 Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.  (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy, File)

    FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2012 file photo, a gravestone identifying the resting place of 7 unknowns from the USS Oklahoma is shown at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. The Pentagon says it will disinter and try to identify the remains of up to 388 unaccounted for sailors and Marines killed when the USS Oklahoma sank in the 1941 Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this May 24, 1943 file photo, the deck of the capsized battleship USS Oklahoma breaks water at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Pentagon says it will disinter and try to identify the remains of up to 388 unaccounted for sailors and Marines killed when the USS Oklahoma sank in the 1941 Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. (AP Photo, File)

    FILE - In this May 24, 1943 file photo, the deck of the capsized battleship USS Oklahoma breaks water at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Pentagon says it will disinter and try to identify the remains of up to 388 unaccounted for sailors and Marines killed when the USS Oklahoma sank in the 1941 Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. (AP Photo, File)  (The Associated Press)

The Pentagon says it will disinter and try to identify the remains of up to 388 unaccounted-for sailors and Marines killed when the USS Oklahoma sank in the 1941 Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.

The military said Tuesday that the remains will be exhumed later this year from a national cemetery in Honolulu.

Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency spokeswoman Lt. Col. Melinda Morgan says officials plan to begin the disinterment in three to six weeks. Many remains were comingled when buried, so the agency will be removing 61 caskets from 45 grave sites.

Morgan says the agency aims to identify the remains within five years.

She says advances in forensic science and technology as well as genealogical help from family members are making it possible to identify more remains than before.