West Virginia sailor lost at Pearl Harbor identified nearly 80 years later
WASHINGTON, DC – The Defense POW / MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced on Tuesday that Navy Model Maker First Class Stanislaw F. Drwall, 25, of Thomas, West Virginia, was killed during the Second World War, had been recorded on March 25, 2021.
On December 7, 1941, Drwall was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese planes. The USS Oklahoma suffered several torpedoes, causing it to capsize quickly. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crew members, including Drwall.
From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel collected the remains of the deceased crew, which were then buried in the cemeteries of Halawa and Nu’uanu.
In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen American personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) exhumed the remains of American victims from the two cemeteries and transferred them to Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. Laboratory staff could not confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. AGRS then buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military council classified those who could not be identified as unrecoverable, including Drwall.
Between June and November 2015, DPAA personnel exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknowns from the Punchbowl for analysis.
To identify Drwall’s remains, DPAA scientists used dental and anthropological analyzes. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Forensic Pathologist system used analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y chromosome DNA (Y-STR).
Drwall’s name is registered on the Missing Courts at Punchbowl, along with the other World War II missing. A rosette will be placed next to its name to indicate that it has been taken into account.
Drwall will be buried on August 5, 2021 in his hometown.