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Posted: Thursday, March 6th, 2014 1:21 PM HST

Identities sought of 21 men killed at Pearl Harbor

By Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) A group of U.S. senators is asking the Defense Department to identify and return the remains of 21 sailors killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The sailors were aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma when it was torpedoed on Dec. 7, 1941. Nearly 430 men died and the remains of 21 sailors classified as unknown were buried in five caskets in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

In a letter sent Thursday to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, 15 senators asked that the remains be exhumed and identified at the military's Central Identification Laboratory. Then, they want the remains returned to the sailors' families for burial in a location of their choosing.

The effort is led by Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Chris Murphy of Connecticut.

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