Remains of a Jewish serviceman killed in Pearl Harbor bombing identified

Pearl Harbor 311 (photo credit: Reuters)
Pearl Harbor 311
(photo credit: Reuters)

The remains of a Jewish serviceman killed in the bombing of Pearl Harbor have been identified.

Charles M. Stern Jr. of Albany, New York, was an ensign who enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Aug. 1, 1940. He was 26 when he died on the USS Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941, one of 429 crewmen who were killed in the Japanese attack on the ship.

Stern was buried with the remains of other unidentified soldiers from the attack in a mass grave in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii.

In 2015, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency exhumed the unidentified remains from the Oklahoma and used more sophisticated DNA testing to identify the remains of the dead. The agency announced Tuesday that Stern’s remains were accounted for.

His nephew and namesake, Charles M. Stern III, told the New York television station News10 that Stern will be buried in a plot next to his parents, as the family originally intended.

In 1943, Albany Veterans’ Post 105 and the Jewish Welfare board dedicated a service flag at the Albany JCC representing 550 Jewish men killed in service. The book “The Jewish Veteran” noted that one of the gold stars on the flag represented Stern, the first man from Albany to be killed in action.