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USS Oklahoma Sailor from Colorado accounted for from World War II

Phillips Photo.jpg.png
Posted at 3:53 PM, Mar 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 17:53:02-04

PIERCE, CO — The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced that 26-year-old Navy Water Tender 1st Class Milo E. Phillips of Pierce, Colorado, killed during World War II, was accounted for on March 1, 2021.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Phillips was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft.

The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, causing it to capsize. The attack resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Phillips.

Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew from Dec. 1941 to June 1944. The deceased crew was subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In Sept. 1947, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks in an effort to identify fallen U.S. personnel.

At the time, staff was only able to confirm the identities of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma.

The AGRS buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

A military board in Oct. 1949 classified those who couldn't be identified as non-recoverable, including Phillips.

DPAA personnel began exhuming USS Oklahoma Unknowns for analysis between June and Nov. 2015.

Scientists used anthropological analysis to identify Phillips' remains.

Scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System also used mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome DNA analysis.

Phillips' name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Punchbowl along with others who are missing from WWII and a rosette will be placed next to his name to show that he has been accounted for.

Phillips is set to be buried on Aug. 4, 2022, at the Punchbowl.

Family and funeral information can be found by contacting the Navy Service Casualty office at (800) 443-9298.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website.

Phillips’ personnel profile can be viewed online.
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