The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Navy Fireman 2nd Class Albert Renner, 24, of Mandan, North Dakota, killed during World War II, was accounted for on Aug. 19, 2019.
(This identification was initially published Aug. 27, 2019.)
On Dec. 7, 1941, Renner was assigned to the battleship USS West Virginia, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when the ship was attacked by Japanese aircraft. The ship sustained multiple torpedo hits, but timely counter-flooding measures taken by the crew prevented it from capsizing, and it came to rest on the shallow harbor floor. The attack on the ship resulted in the deaths of 106 crewmen, including Renner.
During efforts to salvage the USS West Virginia, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crewmen, representing at least 66 individuals. Those who could not be identified, including Renner, were interred as unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.
From June through October 2017, DPAA, in cooperation with cemetery officials, disinterred 35 caskets, reported to be associated with the USS West Virginia, from the Punchbowl and transferred the remains to the laboratory for identification.
To identify Renner’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis.
DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of the Navy for their partnership in this mission.
Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war. Currently there are 72,648 still unaccounted for from World War II with approximately 30,000 assessed as possibly recoverable. Renner’s name is recorded in the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
For family information, call the Navy Service Casualty office at (800) 443-9298.
Renner’s funeral date and location have yet to be determined. For future funeral information, visit www.dpaa.mil.