Navy Storekeeper 1st Class John William Craig of Monroe, Arkansas perished aboard the USS Oklahoma on December 7th, 1941—a date which will live in infamy. On that day, Imperial Japanese bombers shattered the morning calm at Pearl Harbor, killing Petty Officer Craig and more than 2,000 of his brothers in arms.
Nearly eight decades later, however, his remains were listed as “unknown” and interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. He was reported as “missing in action.”
But Petty Officer Craig is missing no more. Thanks to the outstanding work of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, his remains were accounted for in 2017. And just last weekend, on the 78th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, he arrived home in Arkansas to his final resting place.
Petty Officer Craig’s burial is a long-overdue moment of honor for a brave Sailor. And it’s also a moment of hope for our many military families whose loved ones haven’t yet been found—a reminder that our nation won’t rest until every one of our missing heroes is back in our arms or laid to rest with honor.
We’ve now fulfilled this solemn pledge to Petty Officer Craig. Nearly 80 years after his disappearance, we’ve affirmed once again that the United States leaves no man behind on the battlefield.