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The remains of a U.S. sailor killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor have been identified and were to be buried Saturday in his hometown, the Defense Department announced in a news release.

Navy Fireman 3rd Class Gerald G. Lehman, of Hancock, Mich., died Dec. 7, 1941 with 429 other sailors and Marines aboard the USS Oklahoma when multiple torpedo hits capsized the battleship in the harbor.

Following the attack, 36 of the dead were identified and the remaining 393, including Lehman, were buried as unknowns in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

Lehman’s remains were identified after an independent researcher contacted the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in 2003 with information that one of the USS Oklahoma casualties buried as an unknown could be positively identified, the DOD said. After reviewing the case, JPAC exhumed the casket and — using dental comparisons and matching DNA with relatives — determined it contained Lehman’s remains.


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