Identify the U.S.S. Arizona Unknowns
The “Operation 85” Beginnings
While many have talked about identifying the “unknown” crew members of the U.S.S. Arizona, the project never had wings until a family member of one of the deceased navy sailors questioned how there could be 85 “unknown” graves at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hi. Once positive that his family member was forever entombed within the remains of the wrecked U.S.S. Arizona and under a breathtaking and respectful memorial, that thought was now in question. After meeting with the DPAA and many other government entities, it was understood this was going to be the responsiblilty of the family members to ban togeterht to get this “ship sailing”. “Operation 85 was born!
“Operation 85″…the Mission
The DPAA had a very successful project with regards to identifying the unknown remains of the U.S.S. Oklahoma. They also learned many lessons from that project. A threshold was set for the U.S.S. Arizona before any disinterment of the unknowns would begin. The government is currently requiring a minimum of 60% DNA samples of family to match to the crew members. So here is the outline of the mission.
- Locate as many blood related family members from the 1072 crew that was never recovered.
- Begin a case file with the US Navy or US Marine Corps casualty office for each located family member and crew.
- Obtain a DNA sample from each family member through DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiners System.
- Obtain a minimum of 643 family/crew DNA connections.
- Disinter the unknowns to obtain DNA samples to match with the famioly members and identify the unknown crew.
- Allow the family to bury the remains of their loved one at a place of their choosing, or return the remains with their shipmates inside the USS Arizona.
How can you help “Operation 85”?
Of course if you are a bloodline family member, giving a DNA sample to match and identify the unknown crew is paramount. However, if you are not related to anyone killed and not recovered aboard the Arizona, then sharing this site and project with your friends, family or social media is the best way to get the word out. Please consider getting involved.