WASHINGTON D.C. — More than 80 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor the Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency located Navy Seaman 1st Class Billy Turner from Ardmore. Turner died during World War II and is now coming home to Oklahoma.
Turner was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese on Dec. 7, 1941. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple hits and the attack killed 429 crewmen, including Turner.
From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains. Those remains were interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries. Since 1947, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) worked to recover and identify fallen U.S. service members. At the time, the laboratory staff could only identify 35 men from the USS Oklahoma by October 1949.
Decades later in 2015, DPAA personnel exhumed additional USS Oklahoma Unknowns for analysis. Scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System were able to identify Turner's remains through anthropological analysis and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
Turner’s name is recorded on the American Battle Monuments Commission’s Walls of the Missing, along with the others who are missing from WWII. A rosette will now be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Turner will be buried in his hometown of Ardmore. The date has yet to be determined. Turner’s personnel profile can be viewed online by clicking here.
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