Veterans

February 13, 2013

Remains of Monitor sailors to be interred at Arlington National Cemetery

The facial reconstruction of two sailors whose remains were discovered inside the gun turret of the USS Monitor after it was raised from the ocean floor in 2002 are revealed during a ceremony sponsored by the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation. The ceremony is part of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 8 and 9, 1862, when Monitor and CSS Merrimac fought in the first ironclad battle in naval history. Monitor sank off Cape Hatteras, N.C. later that year. While much has been learned about the physical characteristics of the two sailors, their identities remain a mystery.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced Feb. 12 that remains recovered from the USS Monitor will be interred in Arlington National Cemetery.

A ceremony will be held March 8 to honor the two unknown sailors.

The specific date of the interment was chosen to honor Monitor’s role in the Battle of Hampton Roads 151 years ago.

“These may very well be the last Navy personnel from the Civil War to be buried at Arlington,” said Mabus. “It’s important we honor these brave men and all they represent as we reflect upon the significant role Monitor and her crew had in setting the course for our modern Navy.”

The Brooklyn-built Monitor, the nation’s first ironclad warship, made nautical history after being designed and assembled in 118 days. Commissioned Feb. 25, 1862, the Monitor fought in the first battle between two ironclads when it engaged CSS Virginia in the Battle of Hampton Roads March 9, 1862. The battle marked the first time iron-armored ships clashed in naval warfare and signaled the end of the era of wooden ships.

Though the Monitor’s confrontation with the Virginia ended in a draw, the Monitor prevented the Virginia from gaining control of Hampton Roads and thus preserved the Federal blockade of the Norfolk-area.

Months later, 16 sailors were lost when the Monitor sank Dec. 31, 1862 in a storm off Cape Hatteras, N.C. Her wreck was discovered in 1974 was designated the nation’s first national marine sanctuary, managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Starting in 1998, the Navy, NOAA and the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, Va., began working together to recover artifacts from Monitor.

During the summer of 2002, while attempting to recover the ship’s 150-ton gun turret, Navy divers discovered human remains inside the turret. The remains were transported to Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii for possible identification.

JPAC, with the assistance of the Navy Casualty Office and NOAA, conducted a comprehensive effort to identify the remains of the unknown sailors, to include time-demanding and detailed genealogical research. Given the age of the remains, efforts to identify them were unsuccessful. However, JPAC was able to narrow down possible descendents of the unknown sailors to 30 family members from 10 different families.

“The decision to lay these heroes to rest in Arlington, honors not only these two men but all those who died the night Monitor sank and reminnads us, that the sacrifices made a hundred and fifty years ago, will never be forgotten by this nation”, said David Alberg, Superintendent of NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Marine Corps photograph

DOD identifies missing World War II Marine

Marine Corps photograph Marines wounded during the landing on Tarawa in November 1943 are towed out on rubber boats to larger vessels that will take them to base hospitals. The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Sarah Hall-Kirchner

Airman’s remains returned home 62 years after his death

Air Force photograph by SrA. Sarah Hall-Kirchner Members of the Scott Air Force Base Honor Guard transport the remains of Airman 3rd Class Howard Martin during a dignified arrival July 10, 2014, at the Indianapolis Internationa...
 
 

Acting VA secretary outlines problems, actions taken

In testimony before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs July 15, Acting VA Secretary Sloan D. Gibson outlined serious problems regarding access to health care and key actions the department has taken to get veterans off waiting lists and into clinics. “The trust that is the foundation of all we do – the trust of...
 

 

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force to host World War I 100th anniversary event

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I in Europe as one of the nation’s premier historical aviation events, the World War I Dawn Patrol Rendezvous will bring the excitement and adrenaline of early air power to Ohio, Sept. 27-28. The World War I Dawn Patrol Rendezvous will feature vintage reproduction...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

94th Infantry Division vets reunite to remember World War II

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Some 20 World War II veterans of the 94th Infantry Division gathered in Arlington, Va., June 28, 2014, for their 65th annual reunion.   To remain hidden against the snow in Germany during W...
 
 
Navy photograph by PO1 David Kolmel

Face of Defense: France honors World War II veterans

Navy photograph by PO1 David Kolmel Aboard the French FlorÈal-class frigate FS Prairial berthed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Rear Adm. Anne Cullere, commander in chief of French forces in the Pacific, presents U.S. World War II ve...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>