Identifying the Unknown
One Pearl Harbor survivor's mission
Decades after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, as many Sailors and Marines laid in graves marked "unknown", one man made it his mission to identify them.
Seaman 1st Class Ray Emory was aboard the light cruiser USS Honolulu (CL 48) when the general quarters alarm sounded in the morning of Dec. 7, 1941. Emory and his shipmates assumed it was a drill. He and others were unaware of the attack by Japanese forces which would result in the loss of over 2,000 military personnel, more than 25 percent of whom were unidentifiable.
Although Emory sees his career in the Navy as past history, there was an event that led him back to that dreadful day.
During a visit to the National Cemetery of the Pacific more than 25 years ago, Emory asked a simple question to a desk attendant, "Can you tell me where the Pearl Harbor casualties are buried in this cemetery?"
The answer he received was, in essence, no.