For more than seven decades, George Anderson Coke Jr, an Arlington teen who joined the Navy and was killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor, lay buried in mass graves in Hawaii, unidentified.
He was among 429 crewmen on the USS Oklahoma who were killed when torpedoes launched from Japanese warplanes crippled and capsized the ship.
Now, thanks to advanced DNA analysis, Coke’s remains have been identified and returned to Arlington, where he was buried Saturday at Parkdale Cemetery, with full military honors, next to his father and mother.
A funeral service at First United Methodist Church of Arlington was held earlier in the day.
“Military tradition is very strong that you have to be buried where you fell, but I made the decision to bring him back,” said Coke’s nephew, Milton Coke of Georgia.