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Millard C. Pace

Death Date: December 7, 1941

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) recently announced that Fireman 1st Class Millard C. Pace, 20, of Vanndale, Arkansas, killed during World War II, was accounted for on March 26, 2018.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Pace 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 Pace.

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 September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties from the two cemeteries and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. The AGRS subsequently buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Pace.

In April 2015, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a policy memorandum directing the disinterment of unknowns associated with the USS Oklahoma. On June 15, 2015, DPAA personnel began exhuming the remains from the Punchbowl for analysis.

To identify Pace’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis, anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.

DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnership in this recovery.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,766 (approximately 26,000 are assessed as possibly-recoverable) still unaccounted for from World War II. Pace’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.

Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery is honored to aid the Navy in bringing Mr. Pace back to Memphis this coming spring. Service details will be announced as they are set. Please check back for service times.

Arrangements Pending
April 6, 2019
Memorial Park Funeral Home
5668 Poplar Ave. Memphis, TN 38119
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  1. I am sorry for your loss.
    Please accept my condolences.
    You will have the chance to see your loved one again.
    John 5:28,29; Acts 24:15
    Look to God for comfort in your time of sorrow.
    2 Corinthians 1:3,4

  2. So very sorry for your loss. The Bible gives us hope that we can see our loved ones again. Take comfort in knowing that this is a promise from Jehovah God.. Revelation 21:3-5, and John 5:28,29

  3. Wonderful that he has been found. The tragedy of that horrific day at Pearl Harbor when so many were lost, December 7, 1941. His memory will be preserved for the ages here in Memphis and throughout the United States of America . We Shall not forget this greatest generation. Thank you sir for your sacrifice.

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