NEWPORT — Though the attack on Pearl Harbor was almost 78 years ago, many of the men and women who lost their lives remain unaccounted for. However, one of Carteret County’s residents has been identified, and his remains could return home.
U.S. Navy Water Tender 1st Class Edwin B. McCabe, 27, of Newport, was accounted for Nov. 26, 2018, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.
On Dec. 7, 1941, Mr. McCabe was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft.
During the attack, the USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits and capsized.
The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Mr. McCabe.
From December 1941 to June 1944, U.S. Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew and they were interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu cemeteries.
In September 1947, while tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks.
It was there, laboratory staff confirmed the identity of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma.
The AGRS buried the other, unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.
In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Mr. McCabe.
But in April 2015, the deputy secretary of defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. In accordance, on June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the Punchbowl for analysis.
To identify Mr. McCabe’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.
Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA and autosomal DNA analysis.
Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died. There are 72,737 still unaccounted for from World War II, according to a recent release from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable, the agency said.
Mr. McCabe’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are missing from WWII.
A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
The funeral arrangements for Mr. McCabe are in the planning stages, and the family did not wish to speak with the media at this time.
Contact Megan Soult at 252-726-7081, ext. 228; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or follow on Twitter @meganCCNT.