James T. Cheshire of San Diego was 40 years old and serving in the Navy as a chief pharmacist’s mate aboard the USS Oklahoma when he was killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
The Defense Department’s POW/MIA Accounting Agency recently confirmed that Cheshire was officially accounted for in September, nearly 77 years after the attack that led to the United States entering World War II.
The identification was made possible because of advances in forensics techniques, the agency said in a news release.
When the remains of all those who perished aboard the Oklahoma were collected after the attack, only 35 sailors could be identified, defense officials said. The remains of Cheshire and others who could not be accounted for were buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
Then in April 2015, because of the advances in technology, the unidentified remains of those who served on the Oklahoma were disinterred for DNA analysis, the release said.
In September, Cheshire’s family was informed that the sailor’s remains had been positively identified, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
In December, the remains of Navy Seaman 2nd Class Charles C. Gomez Jr., of Slidell, La., were confirmed as having been accounted for, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said.
According to the Defense Department, more than 72,000 of the 400,000 Americans killed during World War II have not yet been accounted for, but the recovered remains of about 26,000 service members have been assessed as possibly recoverable.