Two Michigan Sailors Killed in Pearl Harbor Attack Finally Being Brought Home
After 80 years, two sailors from southwest Michigan that were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor have been identified and will be buried at Fort Custer National Cemetery.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced Tuesday, August 7, 2021, that the remains of two sailors from Michigan had been identified and will be returned home for reburial at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, Michigan.
Family members of Navy Seaman 1st Class Joe Nightingale of Kalamazoo and Navy Seaman 1st Class Wesley Graham of Watervliet have been notified that their family members have been found and positively identified.
The men were assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft, according to the DPAA. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits during the attack, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Nightingale and Graham.
From December 1941 through June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were then interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries in Hawaii.
In 2015, DPAA personnel exhumed remains that were recovered from the USS Oklahoma for analysis. Scientists used anthropological analysis and DNA to make the identifications.
Navy Seaman 1st Class Joe Nightingale of Kalamazoo will be buried on December 7, 2021, at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, Michigan.
Navy Seaman 1st Class Wesley Graham of Watervliet will be buried October 27, 2021, at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, Michigan.