PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A sailor from Portsmouth who died in the attack in Pearl Harbor during World War II will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.
Mess Attendant 1st Class Octavius Mabine, 21, died on the USS Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941. Mabine was accounted for on Nov. 24, 2020.
He will be brought home to be buried on May 13 in Arlington, according to the U.S. Navy.
Mabine was part of the Messman Branch, a racially segregated part of the Navy that was responsible for feeding and serving officers. He enlisted in Norfolk on Nov. 2, 1939.
His awards and decorations include: Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal (with Fleet Clasp), Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (with Bronze Star), American Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal.
The Oklahoma was attacked by Japanese aircraft in Pearl Harbor. It was hit by multiple torpedoes and quickly capsized, killing 429 crew members. Another man from Portsmouth died during the attack: Navy Ship’s Cook 1st Class Rodger C. Butts, who was accounted for on Sept. 28, 2020.
The Navy worked to recover the remains of sailors killed in Pearl Harbor from December 1941 to June 1944. Those identified were interred in the Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.
In 1947, members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) worked with Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks to recover and identify fallen U.S. personnel, including 35 men from the USS Oklahoma.
Unidentified remains were buried in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In October 1949, the military classified those who couldn’t be identified as non-recoverable. Butts and Mabine were among those who remained unidentified.
In 2015, the USS Oklahoma was disinterred. At that time, 388 servicemembers were not accounted for. Since then, 355 have been identified.
However, scientists later were able to use dental and anthropological analysis, as well as Y chromosome DNA analysis, to identify remains.
Butts’ and Mabine’s names are both recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Punchbowl. A rosette will be placed next to their names to show they’re now accounted for.
The Navy pays for funeral expenses, family travel and lodging for up to three blood family
members of those service members who have been identified.