Remains of Kansas man killed in Pearl Harbor identified

February 6, 2020 GMT

SOUTH HAVEN, Kan. (AP) — The remains of a Kansas man who was killed 78 years ago when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor have been identified.

U.S. Navy Fireman First Class Rex Wise will be buried in April near his home in South Haven, near the state’s southern border with Oklahoma, The Wichita Eagle reports.

“I think it’s great,” said Wise’s niece, Helen Weller. “I wish his brothers and sister could have been alive to see him properly buried.”

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Tuesday that Wise was accounted for in fall 2019.

The 21-year-old was serving aboard the USS Oklahoma when torpedoes hit the ship, killing 429 people aboard. For decades, hundreds killed aboard the USS Oklahoma went unidentified despite the remains of many being found.

Weller said dental and DNA evidence from Wise’s late sister helped identify the remains of the fallen soldier. Wise’s sister, Eunice Wittum, died in 2017 at age 99 and was the last of 10 siblings, according to her obituary.