Isaac Ezkiel Parker was a United States Navy serviceman who was killed on December 7, 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. His remains were identified on September 8, 2020.
Isaac Parker was born on June 8, 1924 in Woodson, Arkansas. Very little is known about his early life, but he joined the United States Navy when he was from Drew County, Arkansas at age seventeen. His service number was 3469610 and he was a Petty Officer 3rd Class with his specialty or occupation being Mess Attendant 3rd Class.
Pearl Harbor Attack
At about 7:48 AM on December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service conducted a surprise military strike against the United States at the naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The USS Oklahoma was one of the first ships to be attacked. The ship was hit with torpedoes and capsized, killing Parker in the process. His remains were located between 1941-1944, but not identified. As a result, he was considered Missing in Action while his remains were buried in the Punchbowl at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Overall, 2,335 Americans were killed in the attack, 429, including Parker, were on the USS Oklahoma. The surprise attack led to US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to declare December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy". The following day, the US Congress declared war on Japan which led to the United States' formal entry into World War II.
After his death, Parker was awarded the Purple heart.
In September 1947, the American Graves Registration Service was tasked to identify unknown soldier's remains from the Pacific Theatre. However, they were only able to identify thirty-five of the crewmen from the USS Oklahoma. In October 1949, the American Graves Registration Service ruled Parker, along with many soldiers whose remains were not identified, as unrecoverable.
Parker's name was memorialized on the Honolulu Memorial's Courts of the Missing and the USS Oklahoma Memorial. He also has a grave at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in Section MA, site 35 in Lemay, Missouri.
In 2015, the Department of Defense and the Defense POW/MIA accounting agency initiated a program to exhume the unidentified sailors of the USS Oklahoma to try and match their DNA against the DNA of family members whose loved ones were never identified. Scientists at the D.P.A.A. used anthropological analysis and scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis to identify the servicemen.
Through these methods, Isaac Ezkiel Parker was identified on September 8, 2020 and the identification was announced on September 15, 2020. He will be buried in St. Louis, Missouri on June 8, 2021.