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News Releases

Press Release | Nov. 20, 2018

USS Oklahoma Sailor Accounted For From World War II (Adkins, M.)

WASHINGTON  –   The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the
remains of a U.S. serviceman, accounted for from World War II, are those of
Navy Gunner's Mate 3rd Class Marvin B. Adkins, 20, of Seattle. Adkins was
accounted for on April 11, 2018.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Adkins was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which
was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by
Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which
caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths
of 429 crewmen, including Adkins.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the
deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu'uanu

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S.
personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves
Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from
the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification
Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to
confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time.
The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in
Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not
be identified as non-recoverable, including Adkins.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum
directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On
June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the Punchbowl
for identification.

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

DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnership
in this mission.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000
died during the war. Currently there are 72,778 (approximately 26,000 are
assessed as possibly-recoverable) still unaccounted for from World War II.
Adkins' name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along
with the others who are missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to
his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

For family contact information, contact the Navy
Casualty office at (800) 443-9298.

Adkins will be buried April 4, 2019, ion Portland, Oregon.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account
for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA
website at, find us on social media at
or call (703) 699-1420/1169.

Adkins' personnel profile can be viewed at