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Remains of sailor killed during 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor identified as 19-year-old from Barberton

Posted at 11:12 AM, Dec 01, 2021

CLEVELAND — A sailor who was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, and was one of 46 remains originally classified as unrecoverable, has been identified as 19-year-old Navy Seaman 1st Class Buford H. Dyer of Barberton, thanks to DNA and anthropological analysis, according to The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Dyer was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was stationed at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Dyer was one of 429 crewmen who died after the ship was hit with multiple torpedoes by a Japanese aircraft, which caused it to capsize.

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Navy Seaman 1st Class Buford H. Dyer, 19, of Barberton, Ohio.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew.

In 1947, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of the crewmen from the Halawa and Nu’uanu cemeteries.

Laboratory staff could only confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The unidentified remains were buried in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

In 1949, those who could not be identified were classified as non-recoverable, including Dyer.

Between June and November 2015, the DPAA exhumed the unidentified remains for analysis.

In August 2021, scientists used dental and anthropological analysis and Y chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis to identify one of the remains as Dyer.

Dyer will be buried on April 11, 2022, in Seville, Ohio. A rosette has been placed next to his name at the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl to indicate he has been accounted for.

Dec. 7, 2021 will mark the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

RELATED: Over 70 years after he was reported missing during Korean War, Ohio Army corporal now accounted for

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