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Military plans to stop identifying remains of Pearl Harbor victims

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On the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Pentagon says it has ended the recent program of identifying the bodies of servicemen killed in the 1941 attack. 

The remains of about 400 sailors who died aboard the USS Oklahoma have been identified by scientific means in recent years, and have been sent to the U.S. mainland for reburial.  This year, there has been a call by some families to identify more service members who died aboard the Arizona, which lies in the harbor underneath the official Pearl Harbor monument.

The sailors identified from the Oklahoma include George Naegle of La Crosse, and he received a military funeral and burial in La Crosse in May of 2019. 

His niece Mary Ann Lyden made arrangements. “From now on, if they hadn’t found and identified him, it would have had to have been my children that would have had to take over, and see that his remains were brought home,” Lyden told WIZM News in 2019.

George Naegle, killed at Pearl Harbor in 1941, is given a military funeral at La Crosse Catholic Cemetery in May 2019

George Naegle was a Central High graduate, who was 22 the day the Oklahoma was bombed. Lyden says her uncle apparently was sleeping late that morning when the ship was attacked.

More than two thousand American service members died in the December 7th, 1941 attack, and President Franklin Roosevelt declared war against Japan the next day.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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