CARY, N.C. — A Cary household has been mourning a loved 1 they person ne'er met. They person held retired anticipation that 1 time the remains of 21-year-old Herbert Jacobson, who was killed successful the onslaught connected Pearl Harbor, would surface.
Now, the time has come, and with it, a due burial successful Washington, D.C.
The communicative starts successful 1920 erstwhile Jacobson was born.
"Bert grew up successful Grayslake, Illinois," said his nephew, Brad McDonald.
At 20, helium enlisted successful the Navy, and, arsenic a Fireman 3rd Class, Jacobson was assigned to the USS Oklahoma.
"Bert reported to Hawaii connected Sept. 11, 1941. He was lone determination a abbreviated clip earlier the onslaught occurred," said McDonald.
Jacobson was among the much than sailors and marines killed connected the USS Oklahoma erstwhile Japanese combatant planes blitzed the basal connected Dec. 7, 1941.
"In each likelihood, helium was dependable dormant erstwhile the onslaught occurred," said McDonald.
"It was a time of sadness for our grandmother, who ne'er knew wherever her lad was," said Jacobson's neice Dawn Silsbee.
The household was similar hundreds of others who ne'er had a assemblage to bury. Jacobson's remains were apt scattered crossed a dormant volcanic crater adjacent Pearl Harbor.
"The recognition process successful 1949 wasn’t each that great," said McDonald. "They yet perfected the DNA techniques. That is erstwhile they made progress."
For decades, Jacobson’s nephew and nieces, who unrecorded successful Cary and ne'er met their uncle, sat waiting for the telephone to ringing portion attending meetings with the Navy’s forensic scientists who continued to cod DNA samples hoping for a match.
Year aft year, it came up short.
"[Navy forensic scientists] said, ‘We deliberation we tin place him, but it won't beryllium successful your lifetime,’" said McDonald.
Then, a telephone telephone came successful 2019. The 80-year-long quest successful uncovering Jacobson's remains had been solved.
"The forensic idiosyncratic said it was a slam dunk," said McDonald.
Jacobson's skull, jaw, shoulders and some sets of arms and legs were found. Now, his remains volition beryllium successful a casket filled with mementos and heirlooms.
"This represents closure, the extremity of a long, long, journey," said McDonald.
Jacobson's remains were buried Sept. 13 astatine Arlington National Cemetery.
"It was much than we expected but each that Bert deserved," said McDonald.
"We ne'er gave up hope."
Project Oklahoma, has led to the recognition of 355 men, including Jacobson, who were killed connected the USS Oklahoma successful 1941. That leaves 33 sets of remains inactive to beryllium identified.