Japanese fighter jets attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii during the early hours of December 7, 1941, killing about 2,400 Americans and injuring approximately a thousand more.
Authorities are even today identifying some of the fatalities from the Pearl Harbor assault, which was the horrific incident that ignited the US into WWII.
On January 3, the DoD POW/MIA Accounting Agency said that because to advances in DNA testing, they had successfully identified one individual who had been on board the USS Oklahoma during the bombing. His name was Herman Schmidt, and he was a third-class Gunner’s Mate in the US Navy. He was from Sheridan, Wyoming.
ANYTHING is possible when people work together. More than 500 strangers attended funeral of WWII hero Herman Schmidt, whose only survivor is in poor health. There was fear that no one would show up. Schmidt left behind a wife & newborn baby. His remains were recently identified. pic.twitter.com/wMFeNgDplx— Andrea McCarren (@AndreaMcCarren) February 23, 2023
Despite the fact that it had been more than 80 years since Schmidt had passed away and there had been concerns that no one would attend the ceremony, over 500 people flocked to his gravesite in Washington, DC, on February 23 to pay their respects. Schmidt was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
Michael Schmidt, who was just a baby when his father passed away, regrettably was unable to attend his father’s funeral at Arlington. Michael is 82 years old and not in the greatest of health, therefore he was unable to go.
Although he acknowledged having “mixed feelings” about the father he never met, he thanked the Navy for providing his father with a dignified funeral. The former sailor’s DNA was provided to researchers by Mr. Schmidt, allowing them to positively identify him.
Less than half of the estimated 80,000 Americans remaining missing from previous battles, according to the US Department of Defense, are expected to be found. No matter how long it takes, the Defense POW/MIA Agency has promised to continue its efforts in order to provide closure to as many families as possible.