LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas family will be given closure for a loved one who was killed in the USS Oklahoma during the Pearl Harbor attack more than 80 years ago.
Navy Fireman 1st Class Beoin Hume Corzatt never made it home from WWII. He was stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma on that fateful day of Dec. 7, 1941, when a surprise attack was launched on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii by Japan.
Many of Oklahoma’s crew were still sleeping when the first wave of torpedoes struck, crippling the battleship. More than half of the crew — 429 sailors — lost their lives. Many were trapped when the ship capsized. Oklahoma was righted in 1944 and the remains were recovered but only 35 were able to be identified. The rest remained a mystery for decades.
In 2015, the Department of Defense started a program using DNA analysis with the goal of identifying the remains and returning them to their families for burial.
Although decades passed, and family members who were alive at the time may have died, the US Navy continued to reach out to families for DNA samples to make matches.
“Being able to recover and identify the remains of sailors aid in closure for the families and it is especially important to the Navy to honor these sailors who paid the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives for our country,” said Capt. Robert McMahon, director, Navy Casualty Office.
By Dec. 7, 2021, all but 33 of the sailors had been identified. The remains of those 33 were laid to rest with full military honors at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
Corzatt, who enlisted in Cincinnati, Ohio on Nov. 27, 1939, and moved up the ranks from an apprentice Seaman to a Fireman 1st Class will be buried will full military honors in Hawaii on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.
His family members now live in Las Vegas.
The Navy does pay for all expenses associated with the funeral including the lodging and travel for three family members.
The USS Oklahoma was a sister ship to the USS Nevada. The Oklahoma was so badly damaged, that it was decommissioned in 1944. When it was being towed from Hawaii to California, it sunk in a storm. The exact location is unknown.