DNA Helps NJ Family Give WWII Veteran Burial He Deserves

RUNNEMEDE, N.J. (CBS) – A South Jersey family is about to finally give a WWII veteran the burial he deserves.

Almost 75 years ago Edwin Hopkins from Keene, NH was killed aboard the USS Oklahoma during the Attack on Pearl Harbor.

After the ship was finally lifted from the harbor Hopkins’s body was placed in a group grave with sailors who couldn’t be identified.

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“At the time I imagine there was a lot of chaos, just entering the war, a lot of people who weren’t identified were placed in graves and they were placed together. I think the casket Eddie was in there was about 14 of them,” says Edwin Hopkins from Runnemede, NJ who was named after his uncle and is his eldest surviving relative.

Since 2008 Faye Hopkins Boore, Hopkins’ sister, has been working with the USS Oklahoma Family support group to have her Uncle Eddie’s remains identified and returned to family.

Last year the government opened the grave and using DNA and dental records were able to identify Edwin Hopkins’ bones.

In August, a Navy representative came to Runnemede to discuss the results of their testing and make arrangements to return Hopkin’s remains to family.

The family plans to have a burial service on October 15 in Keene, NH and lay Edwin to rest beside his parents.

“I’m kind of an emotional guy, so I might be teary eyed. It’s good, it’s closure. It’s finally Eddie’s coming home to where he should have been,” says Hopkins.

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