SAN DIEGO — A Navy sailor who died at Pearl Harbor nearly 80 years ago was finally laid to rest in San Diego Wednesday.
Navy Steward’s Mate 2nd Class Jesus Garcia was buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery after a morning ceremony. Garcia was a native of Guam and just 21 years old when he was killed, serving aboard the USS Oklahoma in 1941 at the time of Japan’s infamous attack on Pearl Harbor.
Garcia was among hundreds of unidentified sailors and other service members who were killed in the battle and then buried in Honolulu during the war. They remained without official identification for decades.
But in 2015, a team with the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency exhumed the unknown remains and began reexamining them with modern forensic technology, identifying the fallen service members one-by-one and finally confirming to loved ones that their family members died in the battle.
While the majority of Garcia’s family still live in Guam, the sailor’s relatives in San Diego held a mass in Spring Valley before Wednesday’s burial.
Garcia’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, along with the others who are still missing from World War II. A rosette will now be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
The DPAA website details the USS Oklahoma Project and efforts to account for missing military members.