'What he deserves': Family will have proper funeral for Pikeville Navy Seaman killed at Pearl Harbor
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced that it accounted for a Pikeville Navy Seaman killed in WWII.
Navy Seaman 1st Class Millard Burk, Jr., 19, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941. 429 crewmen, including Burk, were killed when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft.
"It was a sad day for more than just the family when Pearl Harbor happened," said Susan Duncan, Burk's niece. "I thought I can't imagine my grandmother losing two children. How difficult that must have been, so it was a very sad day when he was killed."
Navy personnel worked from December 1941 to June 1944 to recover the bodies. Only 35 remains were initially identified. In 2015, the DPAA began analyzing the rest of the bodies.
Duncan said her mother, Mildred, talked a lot about her brother Millard.
"She just said they spent a lot of time playing around together and he was a very energetic, meaning, I think, often mischievous, boy at Pikeville High School," she added.
To identify Burk's remains, scientists used dental, anthropological and mitochondrial analysis. Burk was finally accounted for on July 25, 2018.
The Pikeville native's name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the Punchbowl. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he was accounted for.
Burk will be buried again at the Punchbowl on July 19, 2019.
"It's quite sad, yet good at the same time," she added. "What he deserves."
For family information, contact the Navy Service Casualty office at (800) 443-9298.