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The Unknown Shipmates
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Halawa Cemetery, Circa approximately 1945.


NO name of ship, branch of service, mention of WWII, date of death.
Beginning of A Second Tragedy
 
     Raymond Emory, Historian, Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, discovered through his extensive research, that all known information supplied by the Army by the United States Navy in 1947, had been omitted from the Army Quarter Master Corps (QMC-14) forms in the Punchbowl office.
     White crosses in U.S. Navy cemeteries, such as the one shown at the top of this page, were stenciled with 'Unidentified', the name of the ship and the date of death. The Army decided unknown was enough on the flat grave markers in Punchbowl.
     The following statistics reveal the results of Mr. Emory's investigation:
     647 Unknown 7 December 1941 casualties are mingled in 252 grave sites.
     106 sites marked Unknown, no date of death, contain 294 remains.
     146 sites marked Unknown, with date of death, 7 December 1941 contain 353 remains. The 14 Army Air Force Unknown casualties are in this group.
 
     No name of ship. No branch of service. No World War II. No date of death on 106 grave sites. No division/unit where available. For Example: during salvage efforts on the sunken USS Arizona BB-39, 31 remains were recovered from the Number Two Turret and are now mingled in 12 grave sites in Punchbowl. Remains of one body were recovered, during salvage from the Number Four Turret. While researching the USS Arizona Salvage Records, in the summer of 1993, Lorraine Marks-Haislip located a notation that a body was recovered from the Number Four Turret and turned over to the hospital. Ray Emory's April 18, 1993 computer printout did not indicate that Q1163 contained the remains from the Number Four Turret, so Mrs. Haislip called him. His immediate reaction was "How did I miss that." Mrs. Haislip later determined the remains had to be the brother of Joseph Campbell, President of the USS Arizona Reunion Association, Inc. He was the only crewman unaccounted for from the Fourth Division. Joe Campbell requested the remains be exhumed for DNA testing and provided pertinent documents to CILHI. He is still waiting.
     Mr. Emory located the original Navy official NAV/MED HF-38 hand written burial ledger in the Naval Historical Center. Mrs. Haislip located the 31 original official Navy casualty recovery reports, that emanated from the 14th Naval Districts Commandants Office, Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, in the National Archives in August 1993. Using these documents, Mr. Emory was able to confirm the following statistics:

 

USS ARIZONA 124 unidentified; 124 bodies in 74 grave sites USS CALIFORNIA 22 unidentified; 22 bodies in 22 grave sites
USS CURTISS 1 unidentified; 1 body in 1 grave site USS NEVADA 2 unidentified; 2 bodies in 2 grave sites
USS OKLAHOMA 381 unidentified; 381 bodies in 45 grave sites PEARL HARBOR 56 unidentified; 56 bodies in 54 grave sites
USS UTAH 14 unidentified; 14 bodies in 7 grave sites USS West Virginia 33 unidentified; 33 bodies in 33 grave sites
US ARMY AIR FORCE 14 unidentified; 14 bodies in 14 grave sites  

 

     Three of the 252 unknown 7 December 1941 flat granite grave markers, shown above, were installed in Punchbowl by the Army American Graves Registration Service (AAGRS) beginning in 1949. 238 markers were void of all official Navy burial data. Mr. Emory's research determined that 14 unknown grave sites were Army Air Force fatalities. The Army had been given jurisdiction over the reburials of casualties in the national cemeteries in August 1947.
     Prior to 1968 and five years preceding the enactment of the 1973 National Cemetery Act, Congress investigated and questioned the Army's administration of the national cemeteries.
     The 1973 Act, Chapter 24, Cemeteries and Memorials, 38 2404, Transfer of Functions, Section 6, of Public Law 93-43 provided that sub-section (a) Jurisdiction (1) There are hereby tranferred from the Secretary of the Army to the Veterans Administration (VA) all jurisdiction over, and responsiblity for (A) all National Cemeteries with a few exceptions. Sub-section (b) confirms that 'personnel;property;records; and unexpended funds' were to be transferred to the Administrator of Veterans Affairs.
     Mrs. Haislip then requested the then new DVA Secretary, Hershel Gober, to replace those weathered unknown markers with new granite 'unidentified' markers engraved with all data verified by the Navy.
     Only when the Unknown grave markers in Punchbowl are removed and replaced with new granite markers engraved with Unidentified (not unknown) and all verified facts, will the 647 unidentified 7 December 1941 casualties mingled in just 252 grave sites, be accorded the Respect and Dignity they earned over 59 years ago when killed by the Japanese aggressor.
     The verified number of remains in each grave along with the grave site number can be added when the new granite markers are engraved.
     Finally, the Honor, denied by the U.S. Army, will be restored to the final resting place of so few who gave so much in defense of their country at Pearl Harbor!

 

Related Page: Adopt A Grave

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