Two Kansans killed at Pearl Harbor are identified

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WASHINGTON (KSNW) – Two Navy firemen who had been missing since the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941, have been identified.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) says it has identified the remains of Navy Fireman 1st Class Rex Wise, 21, of South Haven, and Navy Fireman 1st Class Hadley Heavin, 23, of Baxter Springs.

Rex Wise (Courtesy Department of Defense)

Wise was on the USS Oklahoma when Japanese aircraft attacked Pearl Harbor. The battleship took a number of torpedo hits and capsized. The attack resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen on the ship, including Wise.

Hadley Heavin (Courtesy Department of Defense)

Heavin was on the USS West Virginia at Pearl Harbor. Torpedoes hit the battleship and it sank. Heavin was one of 106 crewmen who died on the ship.

The remains of both men could not be identified at the time and were eventually interred as unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

In recent years, DPAA has worked to identify the unknowns from Pearl Harbor.

Scientists use several ways to analyze remains, including dental and anthropological analysis, mitochondrial DNA, Y-chromosome DNA, and autosomal DNA analysis.

They identified Heavin in September and Wise in October.

Both men’s names are still listed as missing at the Punchbowl. Now, a rosette will be placed next to their names to show they have been accounted for.

Wise will be buried April 22, 2020, in Braman, Oklahoma. Heavin will be buried May 23, 2020, in Baxter Springs.

For family and funeral information, call the Navy Casualty office at (800) 443-9298.

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