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Fort Sill Marine Detachment XO presents flag for fallen Marine

☷Fort Sill Marine Detachment XO presents flag for fallen Marine

U.S. Army
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   Mr . Derek Black , right , Private Waldean Black’s closest relative is presented with the American flag by Lt . Col . Rojelio Salvador Oregon , executive officer of Marine Artillery Detachment Oklahoma , left , during Private Waldean Black’s funeral in Perryton , Texas , April 28 , 2022 . Private Black was aboard the USS Oklahoma during the attack on Pearl Harbor and was unidentified in a mass grave until recent DNA tests confirmed his identity and he was brought back home to his family in Perryton , Texas . ( U . S . Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl . ......Samwel Tabancay ) Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 453 and Site Support Lubbock , lay Private Waldean Black to rest in Perryton , Texas , April 28 , 2022 . Private Black was aboard the USS Oklahoma during the attack on Pearl Harbor and was unidentified in a mass grave until recent DNA tests confirmed his identity and he was brought back home to his family in Perryton , Texas . ( U . S . Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl . Samwel Tabancay ) Lt . Col . Rojelio Salvador Oregon , executive officer of Marine Artillery Detachment Oklahoma , left , and 1st Sgt . Ivan Munoz , right , inspector - instructor First Sergeant of Site Support Lubbock , fold the American flag , during Private Waldean Black’s funeral in Perryton , Texas , April 28 , 2022 . The remains from the USS Oklahoma were buried in 52 mass graves for the entirety of World War ll before being exhumed with the intention of identifying all the men . By the end of 1949 only 49 bodies were identified . The others were reburied in 46 shared graves . In 2015 , the Secretary of Defense issued a directive to exhume the 46 graves and utilize modern technology to identify the bodies using DNA . Black was officially accounted for on Dec . 13 , 2018 , thank to the DNA from his closest living relative , his nephew Derek Black . ( U . S . Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl . Samwel Tabancay ) Marines with Site Support Oklahoma City , transport Private Waldean Black during his plane side honors in Oklahoma City , April 25 , 2022 . The remains from the USS Oklahoma were buried in 52 mass graves for the entirety of World War ll before being exhumed with the intention of identifying all the men . By the end of 1949 only 49 bodies were identified . The others were reburied in 46 shared graves . In 2015 , the Secretary of Defense issued a directive to exhume the 46 graves and utilize modern technology to identify the bodies using DNA . Black was officially accounted for on Dec . 13 , 2018 , thank to the DNA from his closest living relative , his nephew Derek Black . ( U . S . Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl . Samwel Tabancay ) Mr . Derek Black , left , Private Waldean Black’s closest relative is presented with sand from Omaha Beach by Benny Guerrero , retired Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer , right , during Private Waldean Black’s funeral in Perryton , Texas , April 28 , 2022 . The remains from the USS Oklahoma were buried in 52 mass graves for the entirety of World War ll before being exhumed with the intention of identifying all the men . By the end of 1949 only 49 bodies were identified . The others were reburied in 46 shared graves . In 2015 , the Secretary of Defense issued a directive to exhume the 46 graves and utilize modern technology to identify the bodies using DNA . Black was officially accounted for on Dec . 13 , 2018 , thank to the DNA from his closest living relative , his nephew Derek Black . ( U . S . Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl . Samwel Tabancay ) Marines with Site Support Oklahoma City Prepare to transport Private Waldean Black during his plane side honors in Oklahoma City , April 25 , 2022 . The remains from the USS Oklahoma were buried in 52 mass graves for the entirety of World War ll before being exhumed with the intention of identifying all the men . By the end of 1949 only 49 bodies were identified . The others were reburied in 46 shared graves . In 2015 , the Secretary of Defense issued a directive to exhume the 46 graves and utilize modern technology to identify the bodies using DNA . Black was officially accounted for on Dec . 13 , 2018 , thank to the DNA from his closest living relative , his nephew Derek Black . ( U . S . Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl . Samwel Tabancay ) In this photo from the Black family , Derek Black , nephew of Waldean Black , a Marine Private killed aboard the USS Oklahoma during the attack on Pearl Harbor , and Derek ' s wife Tracy , hold the original Gold Star given to Black ' s mother after he was killed Dec . 7 , 1941 . PERRYTON , Texas ( May 4 , 2022 ) — On Dec . 7 , 1941 , Pvt . Waldean “Dean” Black was a Marine assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma ( BB - 37 ) in port at Pearl Harbor , Hawaii . He along with 428 shipmates were listed as missing or killed following the attacks that fateful Sunday . Now , after 80 years , Black has finally returned home . Black was finally laid to rest during a ceremony near his hometown of Perryton , Texas , April 25 , 2022 . Black was buried with full military honors , including a flag presentation to Derek Black , the Marine’s nephew and oldest living relative . “It was truly an honor for me to present the flag as a symbol of our nation’s appreciation to their loved one’s service , ” said Lt . Col . Rogelio Salvador Oregon , executive officer of the Fort Sill Marine Detachment . “To be able to do it for a Marine , a hero from that generation who died at Pearl Harbor , basically the day we entered into World War II , was very meaningful for me . ” For Derek , although he never met his uncle , the ceremony was bitter - sweet . The day not only saw the return of a long - lost family member , but also brought together family from across the United States who had never met before , he said . “I grew up listening to my grandmother and other family members tell stories about him . Dean was a family hero , ” said Derek . “We ' re just thankful for everything that all those involved did for us and especially for my uncle Dean . It ' s something that has changed our lives . Black joined the U . S . Marine Corps from Texas and was aboard the battleship when it came under attack by Japanese aircraft . Moored outboard of USS Maryland ( BB - 46 ) , she was hit by a great number of Japanese aerial torpedoes . With her left side torn open over much of its length , Oklahoma rapidly rolled over and sank to the harbor bottom , with the loss of over 400 of her crew . Many of the men trapped in her upturned hull were cut free through the intense efforts of Sailors and civilian Navy Yard employees . Black was one of 429 Marines and Sailors killed in the attack . In the following years , only 35 of the 429 sailors and Marines who died on the Oklahoma were identified . The remains of 394 unidentified sailors and Marines , including Black , were buried in 61 caskets in 45 graves at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific . In 2015 , advances in forensic techniques prompted the Department of Defense to reexamine the unknown remains from the Oklahoma , and Private Black was eventually identified from among them by DNA . It was Derek’s DNA that helped identify his uncle’s remains . “He died about 15 years before I was born , ” said Black . “But this has brought so much of our family together — people I never met before . My older brother , who is named after our uncle , should have been here , but he passed away about 10 years ago . ” To identify Black’s remains , scientists from The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency used anthropological analysis as well as circumstantial and material evidence . Additionally , scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used Y - chromosome DNA ( Y - STR ) analysis . Black was eventually accounted for Dec . 13 , 2018 . Due to COVID restrictions , it wasn’t until April 25 , 2022 , Black was able to be interred with family near his hometown of Perryton , Texas . “I’m just grateful to the Marines and the other organizations who helped put all this together , ” said Derek . “It was amazing to see the entire community lining the streets , waving flags and saluting my uncle . ”


05 May 2022 ( May 05 2022 )



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