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Remains of Pearl Harbor victim 'X-2' get a name

U.S. sailor was listed as missing after 1941 attack

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Japanese warplanes sank the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Remains of a U.S. Navy sailor who was listed as missing in action after Japan's 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor have been identified and will be returned to his family, the Department of Defense said.

Seaman 2nd Class Warren P. Hickok of Kalamazoo, Michigan, was assigned to the USS Sicard when Japanese aircraft attacked the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, the Defense Department's POW/Missing Personnel Office said Friday.

Hickok was among crew members who were sent to assist the crew of the USS Cummings, a destroyer docked nearby.

The USS Cummings succeeded in leaving Pearl Harbor with no casualties reported, the office said.

The number of Americans killed in the attack was 2,388, according to the U.S. National Park Service.

Japanese warplanes launched from aircraft carriers north of Hawaii on a Sunday morning in a surprise attack aimed at wrecking the U.S. Navy fleet that was based there.

The following day, President Franklin Roosevelt dubbed December 7, 1941 "a date which will live in infamy," and asked Congress to declare war on Japan, officially spurring the United States into World War II.

An investigation to account for missing U.S. military personnel after the attack suggested that Hickok may have been killed aboard the USS Pennsylvania, because some USS Sicard crew were dispatched to the battleship during the attack. Records, however, indicated Hickok was not lost aboard the USS Pennsylvania.

In the days following the attack, soldiers buried many of the unknown dead in Nuuanu Cemetery on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Among those buried was an unknown soldier identified as X-2, the Defense Department said.

After the war, the Army Graves Registration Service oversaw the disinterment of the unknown remains. The X-2 remains could not be identified and were reburied in Section E, Grave 73 of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific on June 9, 1949.

Last year, an amateur historian contacted the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) in Hawaii and suggested the remains in the grave might be Hickok's, the Defense Department statement said.

The grave was exhumed in June, and "forensic anthropologists at JPAC were able to match those remains, including dental remains, with detailed information found in Hickok's World War II medical and dental records."

Hickok's family has not set a date for his burial, which will come with full military honors, the statement said.

Of the 88,000 unaccounted-for Americans from all conflicts, the vast majority -- 78,000 -- are from World War II, the Defense Department said.

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