Help identify remaining ‘unknown’ USS Arizona servicemembers
The USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Saturday, December 10, 2016. Photo by Lucas Carter / The American Legion.

Help identify remaining ‘unknown’ USS Arizona servicemembers

There are still 85 “unknown” Navy and Marine servicemembers from USS Arizona whose remains are in an unmarked grave. You may be able to help these heroes finally receive a proper burial. 

It’s part of an initiative, led by Kevin Kline, a member of Sons of The American Legion Squadron 176 in Springfield, Va. He is the executive director of the USS Arizona “Operation 85” project, and also the great nephew of Robert Edwin Kline, a sailor who was killed Dec. 7, 1941, aboard USS Arizona

Operation 85 is a mission to identify, through DNA, the 85 or more USS Arizona crew members, Navy and Marine Corps, whose graves have been buried 10 miles away marked simply as ‘USS Arizona unknowns,’” he said. “We are asking for American Legion support as we try every effort we can to reach and locate other family members.”  

Kline said the objective right now is to find other family members of the unrecovered USS Arizona crew, so they can provide a DNA sample to match with the unknowns. If you are among the family members or know someone who may be, you can begin by contacting a Service Casualty Office (SCO) through the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency website.  

Contact the respective branch or civilian department that your family member served in. Once you have established contact, the SCO will send a donor kit with instructions and materials for your DNA sample along with a return shipping container. Your DNA and information will be protected, secured to a case file, and will not be shared with any outside organization.