An Iowan Lost at Pearl Harbor Comes Home
by Pat Kinney
on Thursday, May 12, 2022
Another Iowan who died on the battleship USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor was to be laid to rest Saturday, May 14 after his remains were recently identified. This sailor, David Franklin Tidball, is from Independence.
A total of 429 sailors of a crew of nearly 1,400 perished on the Oklahoma when it was torpedoed and capsized - including 16 Iowans. Among then was Father Aloysius Schmitt of St. Lucas, Iowa, the first American military chaplain killed in World War II. His remains were identified and interred in the chapel at Loras College in Dubuque in 2016.
Image Caption: (L) The capsized hull of the USS Oklahoma is seen here at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 194. The USS Maryland is behind it. (R) David Franklin Tidball
The USS Missouri is now docked where the Oklahoma was moored during the attack. It was one of the first ships hit. A USS Oklahoma survivor from Waterloo, the late Paul Aschbrenner, said in a 1997 interview with Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier and the Grout Museum he was in the water when he saw the USS Arizona destroyed; 1,177 sailors were lost on that ship, including Bill Ball of Fredericksburg Iowa, a friend of Waterloo's five Sullivan brothers who served and died together during the war.
More than 2,400 Americans died in the Pearl Harbor attack, including a man identified as the first Iowan killed in the World War II, Malachi Cashen of Waterloo, a supply clerk serving with the U.S. Army Air Force at Wheeler Field.
The U.S. Department of Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency labors to identify the remains of the missing and get them home. According to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, the remains of all but 49 of the 429 USS Oklahoma sailors who were killed, most of them previously interred as unknowns, have now been identified, using modern DNA technology.
The DPAA's work continues. More than 73,000 Americans are still unaccounted for from World War II, 7,800 from the Korean War and 1,600 from Vietnam.