80 Years After Pearl Harbor, Veteran's Remains Identified

The remains of William Eugene Blanchard were identified through DNA testing

HONOLULU, HI - DECEMBER 07: The service wreath presentation as Pearl Harbor Commemorates the 78th Anniversary Of World War II Attacks at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial on December 7, 2019 in Honolulu, Hawaii. On the morning of December 7, 1941 the Japanese mounted a surprise military air strike on the naval base at Pearl Harbor leading to the United States' formal entry into World War II the next day. 2,335 were killed in the attack and dozens of naval ships were damaged or sunk.
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About 80 years after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, a veteran who died during the attacks has had his remains identified.

The remains of William Eugene Blanchard, who was killed at Pearl Harbor while serving on the U.S.S. Oklahoma, were identified through DNA testing conducted by an agency within the U.S. Department of Defense, the Idaho Statesman reportedWednesday.

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 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.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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