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WWII Remains Identified as Navy Sailor From Ventura

Remains of a man killed in the attack at Pearl Harbor have been identified as a Navy sailor from Southern California.

Shipfitter 2nd class Claude Ralph Garcia was 25 years old on Dec. 7, 1941, when Japanese forces bombed the military installation in Hawaii, the Ventura County Star reported Sunday.

News accounts at the time described Garcia as the first resident of Ventura to be killed in World War II, the Star said.

Garcia had been one of more than 72,000 service members unaccounted for since the war. The military’s Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has been using new DNA technology to identify them.

Garcia was a member of the 1933 graduating class of Ventura High School who attended community college prior to joining the Navy, according to the Star.

He was assigned to the USS West Virginia, one of 21 ships sunk or damaged at Pearl Harbor. Garcia’s remains had been buried in a grave at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

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