Agency identifies remains of La Porte brothers who died aboard USS Oklahoma

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced it has identified the remains of the Trapp brothers of La Porte who died on the USS Oklahoma in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Navy Fire Controlman 2nd Class Harold F. Trapp, 24, and Navy Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class William H. Trapp, 23, were identified as part of an ongoing project to identify all of the remains recovered.

Their remains were identified on November 24, 2020.

The USS Oklahoma was moored at Fort Island in Pearl Harbor when it was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The attack resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including the Trapp brothers.

Between December 1941 and June 1944, the Navy recovered the remains of the crew members and they were interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, members of the American Graves Registration Service disinterred the remains from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks.

The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The remains were buried in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including the Trapp brothers.

Between June and November 2015, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency personnel exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknowns from the Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify the Trapp brothers’ remains, scientists performed dental and anthropological analysis as well as DNA analysis.

The Trapp brothers will be buried on June 15, 2021, at the Punchbowl.

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