Honoring a Sailor Killed at Pearl Harbor: Arlington’s George Coke Jr.
By Office of Communication
Posted on December 07, 2022, December 07, 2022

Editor's Note: This article was originally published Dec. 7, 2017. The story was updated Dec. 7, 2022, when a memorial service was held to interred additional remains found of George Coke Jr.

As Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022 marks the 81st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, MyArlingtonTV honors one of Arlington's own George Coke, Jr., an Arlington sailor killed during the attack, 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.George Coke Jr.

Thanks to DNA technology, 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 family member was asked to submit a DNA sample to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. Around Christmas 2016, Milton Coke of Georgia said he received the surprising call that his uncle had been identified.

A public memorial service for Coke, Jr. was held on Saturday, June 24, 2017 at First United Methodist Church. He was buried at Parkdale Cemetery following the funeral service. The family worked with the Arlington Historical Society and others in the community to arrange the homecoming that had been years in the making.

Since his memorial service in 2017, the military has discovered and identified more of his remains, which were transported to Moore Funeral Home in Arlington. The remains will be interred at a memorial service Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022.

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