Remains of a Chillicothe man that served in the Navy during World War II were identified last year. Seaman 1st Class Kirby R. Stapleton was 24 when he was killed during World War II. He was serving on the USS Oklahoma, which was in port at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. Stapleton was on the ship at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor and his ship was hit by multiple torpedoes and quickly capsized, resulting the deaths of 429 men on the ship.
From December of 1941 to June of 1944, remains were recovered and were interred at cemeteries in Hawaii. In 1949, the military identified 39 members of the crew of the USS Oklahoma,
In 2015, the Secretary of Defense issued a policy to identify the remains and soon after the bodies were exhumed. Through DNA testing as well as circumstantial evidence, Seaman First Class Stapleton’s remains were officially accounted for on November 1st of 2018.
Seaman First Class Stapleton is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.