History

Remains of 19-year-old WWII sailor who went missing finally identified

The body of David Walker, a 19-year-old black sailor from Norfolk, VA, who went missing during the World War II attack on Pearl Harbor, has been identified by officials.

According to the US Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Walker was serving on the USS California when the Hawaiian naval base was struck, which set the ship ablaze and subsequently flooded it on December 7, 1941.

He was among 103 crewmen killed in the attack. His identification was made possible through DNA analysis, as reported by the New York Post.

After the attack, only 42 men were initially identified. In 1947, 39 additional bodies were identified. Despite this, the remains of Walker and the other crewmembers were considered “non-recoverable” by the agency.

In 2018, defense forensic scientists exhumed bodies and utilized anthropological, dental analysis, and mitochondrial DNA analysis to identify Walker.

He had enlisted in the segregated navy approximately a year before his death, dropping out of high school, as reported.

Walker is scheduled to be buried on September 5 at Arlington National Cemetery.

Stephen Nartey

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