NC sailor who died in Pearl Harbor attack finally accounted for

ALBEMARLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- After 80 years, a North Carolina sailor is finally coming home.

Navy Seaman 1st Class Edward Everette Talbert was one of 429 crewmen aboard the USS Oklahoma who died when Japanese planes attacked the battleship at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The craft capsized after multiple torpedo hits.

Talbert was 19 years old.

He and other Navy casualties from the crew who couldn't be identified were buried in the Halawa and Nu'uanu cemeteries in Hawaii.

In September 1947, members of the American Graves Registration Service disinterred the remains of those fallen servicemen 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, and so the ones who remained unidentified were buried again, this time in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

Talbert was one of those men.

In October 1949, a military board classified them as non-recoverable, and the remains stayed there for many decades.

But in 2015, the military gave it another try. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency exhumed the USS Oklahoma seamen from the Punchbowl for analysis.

Using anthropological analysis and advanced DNA techniques, scientists were able to identify Talbert on Aug. 5 of this year.

Talbert will be buried on March 26, 2022, in his hometown of Albemarle.
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