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Navy sailor

CORWITH | The remains of a sailor from Corwith who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor have been identified. 

The remains of Navy Reserve Musician First Class Henri C. Mason, 48, were accounted for on March 26, 2018, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced in a news release Monday. 

The agency said Mason was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when it was attacked by Japanese aircraft Dec. 7, 1941.

The battleship sustained multiple torpedo hits, capsizing quickly and resulting in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Mason. 

'We don't leave fallen comrades behind': Hundreds pay tribute to Mitchell County sailor killed at Pearl Harbor (with photos)

From December 1941 to June 1944, the DPAA said Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu'uanu cemeteries.

Members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) in September 1947 disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks.

Laboratory staff was only able to identify 35 men at the time, according to the agency. The remainder of unidentified remains were buried in 46 plots in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

Mason and others who would not be identified were classified as "non-recoverable" by a military board in October 1949. 

In June 2015, DPPA said its personnel began exhuming remains from the Punchbowl for DNA analysis. 

Family receives closure as Thompson soldier killed in WWII comes home (with photos)

Mason's remains were identified by mitochondrial DNA analysis, anthropological and dental analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence, according to the agency. 

Mason's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war.

Currently there are 72,772 still unaccounted for from World War II. Of those, about 26,000 are assessed as possibly recoverable. 

The DPAA said it is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs for its partnership with Mason's recovery. 

Photos: Seaman First Class Leon Arickx's funeral service in Osage

Photos: Army Pvt. Donald Brown's funeral service in Thompson

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Contact Ashley at 641-421-0556 or on Twitter @GGashkmiller. 

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