A Day That Will Live In Infamy Plus 81 Years

We are now closer to the 22nd Century than we are to the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Navy. That thought is somewhat unsettling to me. As I noted last year, by December 7, 1941, my Dad had already been a draftee in the Army for close to a year, my Mom was working in New York City for the British Lend-Lease Office, and my Uncle John allegedly would skip college the next day to enlist in the Navy.

Despite all of this, long-lost letters regarding one of the sailors killed on the USS Oklahoma were returned to a family just last week. They concerned Machinist Mate 2C Lorentz Hultgren whose body was finally DNA identified in 2015. At the time of the letter from 1944, his body could not be identified. He will now be buried with full military honors in the National Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) early in 2023.

Besides Hultgren, two other sailors were finally identified this past August.

The effort to identify sailors killed at Pearl Harbor continues to this day, 81 years after the attack. 

Two more sailors, Petty Officer Second Class Claude Ralph Garcia and Petty Officer First Class Keith Warren Tipsword — each serving about the USS West Virginia — were identified this past August.


Most know that the USS Arizona was never refloated and serves as the final resting place for those killed there. The battleship USS Utah also was never refloated and its remains still lie on the floor of Pearl Harbor.


The Utah is referred to as the “forgotten ship”. A memorial to it was established in 1972. Adjacent to the USS Utah Memorial is that of the USS Oklahoma. Both are on Ford Island. As of 2022, they are now available to be visited with reservations which was an issue in the past as Ford Island remains an active military facility. The Ford Island Bus Tour can be accessed here.

The USS Oklahoma Memorial was only dedicated in 2007. The video below shows the dedication of the memorial, some of the survivors, and the memorial.

2 thoughts on “A Day That Will Live In Infamy Plus 81 Years”

  1. Only about 75 people (non-military or not guests of someone who can access the island) a week get to see the Utah memorial on that tour. It’s 100% worth the $1 tour, though I was stunned that about 1/3 of our full (by reservation) tour didn’t even show up. It was kind of sad because there were some late in the day arrivals at the site that I think would have loved to see anything.

    One little detail they dropped was that the wires still visible on the Utah were grabbed from a trolley line that existed in Waikiki at the time in the commotion after the attack to try and get her upright. It didn’t work, but they did drag it closer to shore and farther out of the lanes. They just left the lines wrapped up around the remains of the ship.

    My only complaint was minor – I thought the tour guide for that one was a little too longwinded about mostly less than engaging stories. But they weren’t commonly known, and that’s something that I did learn a few things. (He’s also transferring to another park in the new year, so a fresh guide and set of stories will likely be available in 2023.) And while he was going on too long at the Oklahoma Memorial, I zoned out and studied the names to find the name of a distant cousin. It’s one of the only truly unique surnames in my family that I’ve never encountered in someone not related to me, and so I googled him while I was waiting on the guide to finish. Strangely, they used mtDNA to identify him, and I’d love to know more about why that is. Based on the family surname project, it would have been really easy to identify him with Y-DNA.

    I had previously seen the Oklahoma memorial when I snuck over on a Missouri tour a few years ago. However, it kind of looked like there might have been a fence between the drop off area at the Missouri now and the Oklahoma area. I didn’t have a chance to really check it out closely to figure out if you could still get up close from a Missouri tour.

    Anyone who goes should plan to make at least one day of it and just do everything – Arizona, Utah, Oklahoma, Missouri, Pacific Aviation Museum, and Bowfin. But, if you’re really, really into things, it would probably be a day and a half to two day visit.

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