W P Hickock Identified (USS Sicard)

Details about those listed as missing or killed in the Pacific, including current search operations.

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Daniel Leahy
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W P Hickock Identified (USS Sicard)

Post by Daniel Leahy » Fri Mar 31, 2006 5:59 pm

Hi All,

I have just come across this information on the JPAC website:
http://www.jpac.pacom.mil/PressReleases06/PR2006-11.htm
RELEASE NO. #06-11
Mar. 22, 2006

SERVICE SCHEDULED FOR PREVIOUSLY ?UKNOWN? SEAMAN FROM PEARL HARBOR ATTACK

HICKAM AFB, HAWAII ? More than 1,500 Sailors, Soldiers, Marines and civilians who died on Dec. 7, 1941 during the attack on Pearl Harbor were never identified. While about 1,000 of the unidentified are interred aboard the USS Arizona, some 330 others are buried in graves marked ?unknown? at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl). Now, one of those unknowns has a name.

In October 2005, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command identified the remains of Seaman 2nd Class Warren Paul Hickok, a U.S. Navy service member missing in action from the Pearl Harbor raid. Services for Hickok will be held on March 29 at the Punchbowl.

Hickok?s remains were first buried in Honolulu?s Nuuanu Cemetery in 1942. In place of a name, his gravestone was marked with the identifier ?X-2.? Military officials first tried and failed to identify him in 1949. After this attempt, his remains were re-interred in the Punchbowl.

Six decades later, JPAC received new information about the case that finally led to his successful identification.

Back in 1941, Hickok was assigned to the USS Sicard. On the day of the raid, he volunteered to leave his ship to help the crews of the USS Cummings and Pennsylvania. That decision would ultimately lead to his unknown status.

In a report written in the aftermath of the attack, two petty officers stated that they thought they saw Hickok ? a Kalamazoo, Mich. native ? aboard the USS Pennsylvania right before an explosion took place. Based on this information, his ?missing in action? status was changed to ?killed in action? and his remains were presumed unrecoverable.

In Nov. 2003, Ray Emory, a Pearl Harbor survivor and researcher, contacted JPAC and offered information suggesting that the unknown sailor designated as ?X-2? could be Hickok.

Heather Harris, the JPAC historian who wrote the historical report for Hickok?s case, verified this new information which led to a second examination of the remains and his ultimate identification.

?We got lucky in our reexamination of the case,? Harris said. ?During the original processing of X-2 Nuuanu, they noted in their paperwork that he had a healed right femur. Hickok?s medical records had no indication of this injury, but when I looked at his paperwork from his enlistment to the service [paperwork that wouldn?t have been previously available], I noticed that he had written that he?d broken his right leg as a boy.?

There are still 88,000 unaccounted-for service members from the nation?s past wars. Harris? focus is on researching cases involving ?buried unknowns? from both World War II and the Korean War. She said that information from third parties is often valuable in bringing a case to the attention of JPAC.

?Mr. Emory has been collecting and analyzing information about World War II, unknowns, and the unknowns associated with the attack on Pearl Harbor for longer than I have been alive,? Harris said. ?He amassed a prodigious amount of information and developed a keen understanding of how the information he obtained fit together.

?That said, JPAC historians and analysts often have easier access to much of this information and can obtain information that Mr. Emory may have a difficult time obtaining,? she said. ?In this instance, we were able to use the information Mr. Emory provided as a starting point for researching the case.

JPAC scientists used historical reports, dental and anthropological analysis, and mitochondrial DNA to identify the remains.

Harris said it is important to identify all unknowns from past conflicts to acknowledge and honor each individual?s sacrifice.

?To acknowledge the commitments of the dead, we also recognize the loss incurred by their family and friends and, while we can never return their loved one, we can offer them the solace that comes with knowing what happened and being able to bury them,? she said. ?We recommit ourselves to a national sentiment that we will not leave our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines behind and we won?t forget their sacrifice.?


-END-

EDITOR?S NOTE:

Seaman 2nd Class Warren Paul Hickok will receive full military funeral honors by the U.S. Navy at his re-interrment at the Punchbowl, 2177 Puowaina Drive, Honolulu, HI 96813. Services are scheduled for 10:30 on March 29, three days after Hickok?s birthday.

The public and media are invited to attend. Both the JPAC anthropologist and the historian who worked the case will be available for a brief question and answer session at the conclusion of the ceremony.


"Until they are home"
Daniel Leahy
Canberra, Australia

RAAF CASUALTY DATABASE
http://www.raafdb.com

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