BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The remains of a Salisbury native who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor have been identified, nearly eight decades later, a Department of Defense unit said Monday.

Shipfitter First Class Charles Fred Perdue. Credit: Department of Defense.

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Navy Shipfitter 1st Class Charles F. Perdue was accounted for on Oct. 14, 2020, according to the Department of Defense’s POW/MIA Accounting Agency. The department said it only recently received notification Perdue’s family had been briefed on his identification.

Perdue, who joined the Navy in California, was aboard the USS Oklahoma, moored at Pearl Harbor, during the surprise attack from the Japanese on Dec. 7, 1941.

After sustaining multiple torpedo hits, the USS Oklahoma quickly capsized. A total of 429 crewmen on the USS Oklahoma died, including Perdue, whose remains were recovered from the ship but could not be identified, according to the department.

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Between December 1941 and June 1944, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the sailors and buried them in Halawa and Nu’uanu Cemeteries.

In September 1947, members of the American Graves Registration Service exhumed the service members buried in the cemeteries, but they were only able to confirm the identities of 35 men from the USS Oklahoma.

The unidentified remains were then buried in 46 plots at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, in Honolulu.

Between June and November 2015, defense officials exhumed the remains and used dental and DNA analysis, and other techniques, in an attempt to identify the unknown sailors.

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Perdue is scheduled to be buried in Lancaster, California — his last home state of record — on May 16, 2022, according the department.

Brandon Weigel