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.https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/pearl-harbor-sorrow-suffered-sailors-mom-revealed-letters-returned-family
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.