BRAMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – A Naval fireman who was killed during World War II will be laid to rest at an Oklahoma cemetery.
Rex Wise was born on Oct. 14, 1920 in Braman, Oklahoma. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1939 and earned several medals.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency reports that on Dec. 7, 1941, 21-year-old Wise was assigned to the USS Oklahoma when it was attacked by Japanese aircraft.
The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. In all, 429 crewmen died, including Wise.
For the next three years, Navy personnel worked to recover the remains of the crew. However, many of the remains couldn’t be identified.
In 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Wise.
More than 70 years after the attack, DPAA personnel exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknowns from the Punchbowl for analysis.
Scientists used dental records and mitochondrial DNA analysis to positively identify Wise’s remains.
Nearly one year after being accounted for, officials say Wise was finally laid to rest on what would have been his 100th birthday.
Officials say a graveside service with full military honors was held at Braman Cemetery for Wise on Wednesday.
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