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WWII Sailor to be laid to rest in Fresno after 80 years

18 May 2022

From Jessica Nilsson

NAVAL AIR STATION LEMOORE, Calif. - After 80 years, USS Oklahoma Sailor Seaman 2nd Class Denver True “D.T.” Kyser will be laid to rest on Saturday, May 21, in Fresno, Calif.

S2c Kyser was killed on Dec. 7, 1941, in the attack on Pearl Harbor and had remained an Unknown for almost eight decades before being identified on Aug. 9, 2019, by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) using his DNA and modern forensic technology.

According to the DPAA, on Dec. 7, 1941, Kyser – originally from Muskogee, Okla. – 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 Kyser, who was 18 years old at the time.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred on Oahu, Hawaii. In 2015, advances in forensic technology prompted the reexamination of Unknown remains associated with the loss of the Oklahoma.

Kyser's remains were exhumed and transferred the DPAA laboratory, where they were successfully identified.

“We are deeply humbled to welcome the remains of Seaman Second Class (S2/c) Duane “D.T.” Kyser to Fresno. His ultimate sacrifice during the attack on Pearl Harbor all those years ago still resonates and has intrinsic value today. The freedoms we fight for today are built upon the efforts of those who have gone before, and we are profoundly honored to escort home the remains of one of these patriots,” NAS Lemoore commanding officer Capt. Douglas M. Peterson said.

Kyser’s remains are being laid to rest in Fresno, rather than in Oklahoma, because according to his nephew, Mr. Duane T. Kyser of Sacramento, “There is no family – or even friends – left in Oklahoma. We are all here in California.”

Kyser’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Punchbowl on Oahu, Hawaii, 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.

Interment will be May 21, 2022 at 1 p.m. in Fresno Memorial Garden, 175 S. Cornelia Ave., in Fresno, Calif. Rear Admiral Gene F. Price, Vice Commander of Navy Information Forces, will conduct the graveside honors.


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