Navy Fireman 1st Class Everett C. Titterington, 21, died on the battleship USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor.

Navy Fireman 1st Class Everett C. Titterington, 21, died on the battleship USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor. (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency)

MILFORD, Iowa (Tribune News Service) — Remains of a Milford man who died on the battleship USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor have been identified and will be buried this fall in California.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, or DPAA, announced Monday that the remains of Navy Fireman 1st Class Everett C. Titterington, 21, were identified on March 23, 2021. He will be buried Sept. 5 in Bloomington, Calif.

Titterington was assigned to the USS Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked the U.S. fleet. The ship quickly capsized after being hit by several torpedoes during the attack, and 429 crewmen were killed.

Born on Aug. 5, 1921, Titterington was the oldest of five children of Everett and Maud Pearl Titterington. He left school at age 16 and entered the Milford Civilian Conservation Corps camp. He spent 27 months in the CCC before enlisting in the Navy on Dec. 9, 1939.

According to an obituary from 1942, his family was notified on Dec. 20, 1941, that he was missing. On Feb. 1, 1942, his family, which included sisters, Mildred and Dorothy, and brothers, Robert and Lyle, was told he was pronounced lost. His brothers both served in the military during World War II.

“Everett was of a sunny disposition and was well-liked by both young and old alike,” his obituary read.

According to the DPAA, remains of those killed on the USS Oklahoma were recovered from the ship from December 1941 to June 1944 and buried in cemeteries in Hawaii. In 1947, those remains were transferred to the Central Identification Laboratory, and 35 men were identified at that time. The remaining unidentified remains were buried in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

In April 2015, defense officials ordered those remains disinterred for identification using new DNA analysis technology.

Titterington’s remains were identified using DNA, dental and anthropological analysis.

He is the fourth Siouxland man who died on the USS Oklahoma to be identified in recent years. Claude Gowey of in Onawa was identified in 2018; Harry Nichols of Sioux City was identified in 2019; and Wesley Brown of Oto was identified in 2020.

(c)2024 Sioux City Journal, Iowa

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