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Navy sailor from Florida killed in Pearl Harbor laid to rest nearly 80 years later

Petty Officer 2nd Class James M. Flanagan was 22 when he was killed on Dec. 7, 1941, while aboard the USS Oklahoma in Pearl Harbor.
Credit: (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Apryl Hall)
Sailors assigned to Navy Region Hawaii and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) conduct a funeral for U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class James M. Flanagan at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii, Nov. 6, 2020.

HONOLULU — A U.S. Navy sailor from Florida was finally laid to rest Friday nearly 80 years after his death at Pearl Harbor.

Petty Officer 2nd Class James M. Flanagan was 22 when he was killed Dec. 7, 1941, while aboard the USS Oklahoma in Pearl Harbor. 

The ship was moored at Ford Island and was attacked by Japanese aircraft, which capsized the ship after multiple torpedo hits. More than 400 crewmen were killed in the attack on the ship.

Through June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the crew, who were then buried as unknowns in the Halawa and Nu'uanu Cemeteries before being moved to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

In 2015, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency disinterred them for analysis. The U.S. Department of Defense said scientists used dental and anthropological analysis as well as DNA analysis to identify the unknowns.

The agency said Flanagan was officially identified on Nov. 19, 2019. His name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, and a rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he's been accounted for.

Credit: DVIDS

On Friday, a small group of service members from the DPAA gathered at the cemetery in Honolulu to honor Flanagan and give him an official funeral.

“At the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, the roll call for warriors who died on December seventh is long and distinguished,” Lt. Carson Pittman said in remarks at the service. “A grateful nation, a grateful Navy, and a grateful President are happy to add James to that list. Here he will rest alongside many other warriors who gave their lives for our freedom.” 

The agency said Flanagan's family in Jacksonville was unable to attend the ceremony because of the COVID-19 pandemic but will be sent the U.S. flag dedicated to him.

Flanagan's service profile can now be found here.

Credit: Photo By Staff Sgt. Apryl Hall
Sailors assigned to Navy Region Hawaii and the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) conduct a funeral for U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class James M. Flanagan at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii, Nov. 6, 2020.

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