Remains identified of USS Oklahoma sailor from Missouri killed at Pearl Harbor

Despite the DPAA’s ability to account for Bock in May 2021, a full briefing on his identification delayed the public release of information until now.
USS Oklahoma sailor John Bock's remains were identified in May 2021.
USS Oklahoma sailor John Bock's remains were identified in May 2021.(US Navy/Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency)
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 2:17 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KCTV) - The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced Wednesday that Navy Seaman 2nd Class John G. Bock, Jr., 18, of St. Louis, killed during World War II, was accounted for on May 19, 2021.

Despite the DPAA’s ability to account for Bock in May 2021, a full briefing on his identification delayed the public release of information until now.

Bock was one of 429 crewmen killed when the USS Oklahoma was attacked by Japanese aircraft at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. The USS Oklahoma sustained multiple torpedo hits during the incident, causing it to quickly capsize.

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From December 1941 until June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the crew and subsequently laid them to rest in the Halawu and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In 1947, 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. Laboratory staff was only capable of confirming the identification of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time. Then, the AGRS 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, those who could not be identified were labeled as non-recoverable by a military board. That group included Bock.

Between June and November 2015, DPAA personnel dug up the USS Oklahoma Unknowns from the Punchbowl for analysis. Using dental, anthropological and Y Chromosome DNA analysis, Bock’s remains were able to be identified.

The St. Louis native’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with others missing from World War II. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has now been accounted for.

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Bock will be buried Sept. 27, 2022, at the Punchbowl.

Additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving can be found at www.dpaa.mil. Bock’s personal profile can be viewed here.