The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today
that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from World War II, have been identified
and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
He is Fireman 3rd Class Alfred E. Livingston, U.S. Navy, of Worthington, Ind. He will be
buried on Saturday in Worthington.
On December 7, 1941, Livingston was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma when it
was attacked by Japanese torpedo aircraft and capsized in Pearl Harbor. The ship sustained
massive casualties. Livingston was one of hundreds declared killed in action whose body was not
recovered. In the aftermath of the attack, some remains were recovered from the waters of Pearl
Harbor. One set of sailor’s remains was recovered and thought to be associated with the USS
Arizona losses. However, when efforts to identify the sailor failed, it was inconclusive what ship
he was assigned to and he was buried as an unknown in the National Memorial Cemetery of the
Pacific, known as The Punchbowl.
In 2006, a Pearl Harbor survivor and researcher, contacted the Joint POW/MIA
Accounting Command (JPAC) and suggested that the biological and dental information on file for
the unknown sailor may be correlated with Livingston’s personnel file. JPAC’s analysts studied
the documentation and found enough evidence to support the researcher’s findings that
Livingston was actually recovered after the war even though he was originally listed as one of the
hundreds of unrecoverable servicemen from the attack on Pearl Harbor. In February 2007, the
grave for the unknown sailor was exhumed.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from
JPAC also used dental comparisons in the identification of Livingston’s remains.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing
Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1420.