The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) has announced that Navy Machinst’s Mate 1st Class Keith W. Tipsword, 27, of Moccasin, Illinois, who was killed during World War II, was accounted for on July 12, 2022.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Tipsword 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 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 left 106 crewmen dead, including Tipsword. During efforts to salvage the West Virginia, Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crewmen, representing at least 66 individuals. Those who could not be identified, including Tipsword, were interred as unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

Between June and October 2017, DPAA, along with cemetery officials, disinterred 35 graves, reported to be associated with the West Virginia from the Punchbowl and transferred the remains to the DPAA laboratory. Scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis to identify Tipsword’s remains. Scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis to identify remains. Tipsword’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. He will be buried on November 15 in Beecher City, Illinois.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website or their Facebook page.

Tipsword’s personnel profile can be viewed here.