WWII Navy Sailor From Auburn Positively Identified; Being Brought Home

By Benjamin Cox on October 6, 2022 at 2:47pm

A Navy sailor who was killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II

has finally been accounted for. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced today that 29 year old Navy Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Edward L. Conway was accounted for on October 1st, 2021.

Conway was assigned to the USS Oklahoma moored at Ford Island in Pearl Harbor when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft with torpedoes. The vessel quickly capsized killing 429 of the crew onboard including Conway.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the crew, which were interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries in Hawaii.

In September 1947, members of the American Graves Registration Service 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 later buried the unidentified remains in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

In October 1949, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Conway.

Between June and November 2015, DPAA personnel exhumed the USS Oklahoma Unknowns from the Punchbowl for analysis.

Using dental and antrhopological analysis along with mitochondrial DNA, Conway was able to be identified.

Conway’s name is recorded on the American Battle Monuments Commission’s Courts 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.

According to WAND-TV in Decatur, Conway will be brought home and buried on November 12th in Decatur.