WASHINGTON D.C. (WLNS) — A lost Detroit sailor’s remains will be united with his family more than 80 years later.
Navy 2nd Seaman Tceollyar Simmons, 18, died aboard the USS California, following a Pearl Harbor attack from a Japanese aircraft.
Including Simmons, 104 crewmen on the USS California died.
From December 1941 to April 1942, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the crew, which were then interred at the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.
In 1947, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries, then transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks.
At that point in time, laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identities of 39 men from the USS California at that time.
AGRS buried the unidentified remains at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.
In October 1949, a military board classified the 25 Unknowns who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Simmons.
Flash forward to 2018, when DPAA staff exhumed the 25 USS California Unknowns from the Punchbowl for analysis.
In order to identify Simmons, the DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis.
Additionally, scientists with the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
Simmons’ name is recorded on the American Battle Monuments Commission’s Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Simmons will be buried on June 14 in Hacoda, Alabama.