Navy sailor killed at Pearl Harbor laid to rest after being ‘lost’ for 75 years

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) — A Louisville man killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor and officially declared as lost will soon be given a final resting place with full military honors.

Samuel Warwick Crowder was a 35-year-old Petty Officer 3rd Class, a fireman on board the USS Oklahoma.

He was among the 429 Sailors and Marines who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7,1941. The tragic news reached his mother sometime later that he was given up as lost.

Three paragraphs in the local paper described Crowder as a freelance commercial artist and a former member of the 138th Field Artillery Band. Photographs provided by the Pentagon show a dapper, confident, square-jawed young man.

Crowder’s sacrifice was enshrined on official memorials, but any first-hand recollections of his life and the person he was apparently died along with his mother and his only sibling.

It might have stayed that way if not for a decision in 2015, when the Department of Defense exhumed the remains of nearly 400 unaccounted for service members tied to the Oklahoma. They had been laid to rest as unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

Through DNA testing and comparisons to the DNA of a living relative, Crowder was at last positively identified just a few months ago.

The next step will be funeral services with full military honors for the Navy fireman who had been declared lost for nearly 76 years.

This was all made possible by the work being done by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), which will meet with Crowder’s family.

It’s very likely there’s no one around who knew him back in the day, but family members are no doubt learning a lot about the uncle or cousin who lost his life at Pearl Harbor.

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