Virginia sailor killed in WWII has been accounted for

Virginia News

The American Flag waves on September 17, 2005, at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (WFXR) – Last week, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced that Navy Mess Attendant 1st Class Octavius Mabine, 21, of Portsmouth, who was killed during World War II, was accounted for last year.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Mabine 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 hits by torpedos, which caused it to quickly capsize. A total of 429 crewmen, including Mabine, were killed.

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 Cemeteries.

In September 1947, members of the American Graves Registration Services (AGRS) were tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater.

They 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 identification of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at the time.

Subsequently, the AGRS buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Mabine.

Then, between June and November of 2015, DPAA personnel exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknowns from the Punchbowl for analysis.

Mabine will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery; however, the date of burial has yet to be decided.

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