Sailor killed in Pearl Harbor attacks identified as East Tennessean

Navy Fireman 1st Class Paul E. Saylor
Posted at 1:38 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 14:38:30-04

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced this week the remains of a sailor killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor have been identified as an East Tennessean.

Navy Fireman 1st Class Paul E. Saylor from Johnson City, Tennessee was accounted for on November 24, 2020.

The DPAA said Saylor was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was attacked at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

The ship was hit by multiple torpedoes, causing it to quickly capsize. Four hundred and twenty-nine crewmen aboard the USS Oklahoma died in the attack, including Saylor who was 21 years old.

Of the recovered remains, only 35 men from the ship were identified in 1947. The unidentified remains were buried in Honolulu at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl.

In 2015 the DPAA exhumed the unidentified remains for analysis. Saylor's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Punchbowl. Now, a rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

He will return to Tennessee this summer to be buried in his hometown on August 20.