Pearl Harbor sailor to be buried in Eureka next to Twin after identification


  • DPAA
  • Naval Radioman 3rd Class Earl M. Ellis

Almost 80 years after the death of Navy Radio 3rd Class Earl M. Ellis aboard the USS Oklahoma in the Pearl Harbor attack, the man from Hope, Arkansas, will be laid to rest next to his sister twins at Oceanview Cemetery Thursday with Full Army Honors.

A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. and the family invites the public to attend.

Ellis, 23, was one of 429 men killed when their ship suffered multiple torpedoes in the attack on December 7, 1941 and quickly capsized. The majority of people who died on USS Oklahoma could not be identified and were subsequently buried in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu in October 1949.

In 2015, the Department of Defense’s POW / MIA accounting agency exhumed the USS Oklahoma plots as part of the agency’s mission to count as many missing servicemen as possible.

Ellis was identified late last year using dental and anthropological tests, the agency said, as well as mitochondrial DNA, inherited from an individual’s mother. He is one of 337 crew members whose remains have been returned to their families.

“As a family member of Navy Radioman 3rd Class Earl M. Ellis, we are grateful for his sacrifice for our country and we are grateful to be able to bury him with his family in California. He can now rest in peace, ”wrote Lorin McKnight Mayo on the agency’s Facebook page.

Many of Ellis’ sisters made their home in Humboldt County, including Ollie Mae Ellis Mayo and Vivian Inez Ellis Mayo – who married brothers.

Her twin, Pearl Bernice Ellis Kitchens, came to Eureka in 1972 to join her sisters, according to her obituary. She died in 1996, just nine days before her 78th birthday, and was buried in Oceanview, with her headstone including a plaque to Ellis.

Ollie Mae Ellis Mayo and Vivian Inez Ellis Mayo, along with another sister Alice Irene Ellis Turner, are also buried at Oceanview Cemetery.

Anyone wishing to send cards or flowers can send them to Sanders Funeral Home in Eureka for arrangements.