Navy identifies remains of Detroit man killed on USS Oklahoma during Pearl Harbor

Posted at 1:16 PM, Feb 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-13 13:18:21-05

WASHINGTON (WXYZ) — The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced on Thursday that a Detroit man who was killed during Pearl Harbor was accounted for.

According to the DOD, Navy Seaman 1st Class Edward Wasielewski, 21, of Detroit, was accounted for on May 15, 2019.

Wasielewski was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941 when it was attacked at Pearl Harbor. The ship sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize.

The attack resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen on the Oklahoma, including Wasielewski.

According to the DOD, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew from December 1941 to June 1944. Those remains were interred at the Halawa and Nu'uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of the casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to try and be identified.

The AGRS was able to confirm the ID of 35 men and buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Wasielewski.

Between June-November 2015, DPAA personnel exhumed the unknown remains from the USS Oklahoma for analysis.

To identify Wasielewski's remains, "scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used Y-chromosome STR DNA (Y-STR) analysis."

Wasielewski will be buried on Feb. 21, 2020 in San Diego.