A third push to identify the bodies of sailors killed at Pearl Harbor could mean two fallen shipmates from Georgia might finally make it home.
William E. Blanchard, a boilermaker on the USS Oklahoma, and Walter B. Manning, an electrician’s mate, were among the more than 2,400 killed in the Dec. 7, 1941 Japanese surprise attack that sparked the U.S. entry into World War II. Blanchard came from the tiny community of Tignall, east of Athens; Manning is believed to have had ties to Bartow County and Albany.
After the attack, hundreds of bodies could not be identified and were interred together in graves on the island of Oahu. They were disinterred once so that more remains could be matched to names. Those that were not were reburied.
Four years ago, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, armed with the latest DNA tests and improved forensics, renewed the effort to identify the others.
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