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Remains of Alabama sailor killed at Pearl Harbor identified

Associated Press logoAssociated Press 7/8/2021

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama sailor who was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor nearly 80 years ago has been positively identified and will be buried in his hometown next month, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

DNA testing and anthropological analysis were used to verify the remains of Navy Fireman 2nd Class Ralph C. Battles of Boaz, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said in a statement.

Battles, 25, was assigned to the USS Oklahoma when the battleship was hit by multiple torpedoes during the Japanese attack on Dec. 7, 1941. The ship capsized, killing Battles and 428 other crewmen.


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Remains of the dead were recovered by 1944 and interred at cemeteries in Hawaii, but only 35 men were identified initially. The remains of unidentified victims were exhumed in 2015 for analysis, and Battles' remains were finally identified in February, the agency said.

A service is set for Battles on Aug. 28 in Boaz, located northeast of Birmingham.

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