Honoring a Sailor Killed at Pearl Harbor: Arlington’s George Coke, Jr.

A public memorial service for George Coke, Jr., an Arlington sailor killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor, was held on June 24, 2017 at First United Methodist Church. He was buried at Parkdale Cemetary following the funeral service.

Today, on the 76th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, MyArlingtonTV honors one of Arlington’s own and looks back on an emotional homecoming for the Coke family and friends.

Mr. Coke, born on Aug. 6, 1923, joined the U.S. Navy in January 1941 during his senior year at Arlington High School. He was among 429 servicemen killed on Dec. 7, 1941, when the USS Oklahoma capsized after being hit by Japanese torpedoes during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Thanks to DNA technology available today, Mr. Coke is among many of the Pearl Harbor casualties who have recently been positively identified by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency and brought home.

A few years ago, a family member was asked to submit a DNA sample to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Around Christmas last year, Milton Coke of Georgia said he received the surprising call that his uncle had been identified.

The family worked with the Arlington Historical Society and others in the community to arrange the homecoming that had been years in the making.

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