According to the U.S. National Park Service, 2,403 American service members and civilians were killed and another 1,178 people were injured in the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941.
“The wreckage of the USS Arizona remains as a monument to the events of World War II and to the legacy of those who sacrificed their lives to preserve our most cherished values and secure victory. The sculpture of the Tree of Life, chiseled in the side of the USS Arizona Memorial reminds us that the ultimate prize of victory was not just the cessation of arms, but an expression of hope for the realization of a lasting peace . . . Now we remember to embrace, not just the victory of arms but the promise of a renewed commitment to that hope, that our generation, and the generations to follow will always honor the sacrifice of our veterans by tirelessly striving to maintain and cherish the legacy of hope.”
This Thursday, December 7, 2023 marks the 82nd Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. A series of events will commemorate the day, culminating with the official National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony.
For more information on the Pearl Harbor Day events, click HERE.
For a series of educational videos and oral history from survivors, click HERE.
Join Guice Offshore (“GO”) today, December 7, 2023 at 7:45 am HST (12:45 pm EST) to watch the National Pearl Harbor Commemoration Ceremony Livestream here: https://lnkd.in/ddUhsxbs
What is Operation 85? Learn How You Can Bring Unidentified Pearl Harbor Sailors Home
During the attack on Pearl Harbor, two U.S. Navy battleships – the USS Arizona and the USS Utah – were permanently sunk, and 188 aircraft were destroyed.
Meet Kevin Kline, the great nephew of GM2c Robert Edwin Kline USN, who was killed December 7, 1941 aboard the U.S.S. Arizona when it sunk. His uncle’s remains, along with 1071 of his fellow shipmates, were never recovered.
To help identify and bring these still-unidentified service members home, Kevin created “Operation 85,” a mission to identify through DNA, the 85 (or more) U.S.S. Arizona crew members (both U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps members) whose graves have been commingled, marked as “unknown” and buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The U.S.S. Arizona “Operation 85” is a civilian volunteer effort to assist the POW / MIA Defense Accounting Agency (DPAA) in locating and acquiring the DNA samples of a minimum of 643 family members that are blood related to the 1072 unrecovered sailors and marines killed aboard the U.S.S. Arizona. With that, we hope the Armed Forces Medical Examiners Office can match those family DNA samples to potentially 85 (or more) unknown U.S.S. Arizona service members currently commingled and buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hi.
The goal of “Operation 85” is to have the required minimum 643 family DNA samples by or before the 85th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 2026; and ultimately to have all “unknowns” of the U.S.S. Arizona identified.
As director of this volunteer, civilian endeavor, Kevin is working hand-in-hand with the United States Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, the National Park Service, the US Navy & Marine Corps Casualty Office and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner’s System. However, the effort for outreach and awareness to meet the threshold for family DNA participation has fallen directly on the family members.
“Operation 85” is now working to find other family members of the 1072 unrecovered U.S.S. Arizona crew members, so they can provide a family DNA sample to the Armed Forces Medical Examiners System and ultimately help identify the unknowns.
Kevin is asking for America’s help with outreach and awareness as Operation 85 makes every effort it can to reach and locate other family members for this important undertaking.
Most people assume that all of the unrecovered crew are entombed within the U.S.S. Arizona and rest underneath the Arizona Memorial, but this is not true. There are multiple commingled graves 10 miles away from the ship marked simply as “Unknown USS Arizona.” Other World War II ships recently have had very successful projects of matching DNA to the remains of family members for positive identification.
The public’s assistance could help change the trajectory of this mission’s outcome, and help accelerate the removal of the word “unknown” from the names of these past American heroes and bring them home!
“Again, simply sharing our website could result in another family member seeing it and coming forward to help identify another hero of the U.S.S. Arizona,” Kevin said. “I hope you’ll continue to share our message and our success, as we work together to identify the “unknowns” of the most iconic battleship in naval history, the U.S.S. Arizona BB-39.”
Watch a video message from him about Operation 85 here: