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WWII Sailor from Antigo Identified, to be Buried in Hometown

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

The remains of a World War II sailor from Antigo have been accounted for.

Navy Fireman Kenneth Doernenburg was 23 years old when he died during the attack on Pearl Harbor, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

Doernenburg was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma. He and 428 of his fellow crewmen died in the attack on December 7, 1941.

From December 1941 to June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, tasked with recovering and identifying fallen U.S. personnel in the Pacific Theater, 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. The laboratory staff was only able to confirm the identifications of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma at that time.

The AGRS subsequently 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, a military board classified those who could not be identified as non-recoverable, including Doernenburg.

In 2015, the ship was exhumed.

Scientists were able to use new technology to start identifying those remains. Dornenburg was identified in March.

He’ll be buried in his hometown in September.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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