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July 20, 2007

Missing WWII Sailor is Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from World War II, have been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
He is Fireman 3rd Class Alfred E. Livingston, U.S. Navy, of Worthington, Ind. He will be buried on Saturday in Worthington.
On Dec. 7, 1941, Livingston was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma when it was attacked by Japanese torpedo aircraft and capsized in Pearl Harbor. The ship sustained massive casualties. Livingston was one of hundreds declared killed in action whose body was not recovered. In the aftermath of the attack, some remains were recovered from the waters of Pearl Harbor. One set of sailor's remains was recovered and thought to be associated with the USS Arizona losses. However, when efforts to identify the sailor failed, it was inconclusive what ship he was assigned to and he was buried as an unknown in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as The Punchbowl.
In 2006, a Pearl Harbor survivor and researcher, contacted the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and suggested that the biological and dental information on file for the unknown sailor may be correlated with Livingston's personnel file. JPAC's analysts studied the documentation and found enough evidence to support the researcher's findings that Livingston was actually recovered after the war even though he was originally listed as one of the hundreds of unrecoverable servicemen from the attack on Pearl Harbor. In February 2007, the grave for the unknown sailor was exhumed.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC also used dental comparisons in the identification of Livingston's remains.
For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/ or call (703) 699-1420.

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