Press Release | Jan. 4, 2022

USS West Virginia Sailor Accounted For From World War II (Melton, J.)

WASHINGTON  –   The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Navy Seaman 1st Class John R. Melton, 23, killed during World War II, was accounted for on Feb. 1, 2021.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Melton was assigned to the battleship USS West Virginia, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS West Virginia sustained multiple torpedo hits, but timely counter-flooding measures taken by the crew prevented it from capsizing, and it came to rest on the shallow harbor floor. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 106 crewmen, including Melton.

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 or find us on social media at or

Melton’s personnel profile can be viewed at