Thursday, October 6, 2016

USS Oklahoma sailor returns home 75 years after Pearl Harbor

Lewis Lowell Wagoner

Lewis Lowell Wagoner was a 20 year-old sailor serving on the USS Oklahoma when the Japanese attacked December 7, 1941.  He was last seen by a shipmate when they jumped off the capsizing ship, into flames on the surface of water from leaking fuel and oil.  It took the Navy 2 years to retrieve all the bodies from the USS Oklahoma, most of them unidentified and laid in a mass grave.

In 2015, the Pentagon's Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency started exhuming bodies from grave sites and caskets.  Wagoner was identified from DNA samples submitted by surviving family members and his remains will be shipped home to Kansas.

The agency expects to identify 80% of the Oklahoma's unknown sailors by 2020.

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