FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Gov. Andy Beshear has ordered flags at all state buildings to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, May 15, in honor of a Kentucky sailor who was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but whose remains were only identified last fall.
Navy Fireman 2nd Class Martin D. Young, 21, of Hawesville, Ky., died in the attack on Dec. 7, 1941. Fireman Young will be interred in Lewisport on Saturday.
All individuals, businesses, organizations, and government agencies are encouraged to join in this tribute of lowering the flag to honor Fireman Young. Additional flag status information is available at http://governor.ky.gov/flag-status.
“It took a long time to get him home, but we honor the sacrifice of Navy Fireman Martin Young no less,” said Beshear. “All of our veterans and their families have earned our respect and compassion for their service.”
According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), on that date:
“Young was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits, which caused it to quickly capsize. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Young. From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.”
In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Young. But in 2015, DPAA personnel exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknowns from the Punchbowl for analysis.
To identify Young’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y chromosome DNA (Y-STR) analysis.
Young’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.