Pearl Harbor soldier memorialized at Shoreline Veterans Recognition Plaza

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

By Doug Cerretti

Today, December 7, 2021 is the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. December 7, 1941 “A Date Which Will Live in Infamy,” became a little closer to some of us in the Shoreline, WA community.

I recently received an engraved brick order for The Shoreline Veterans Recognition Plaza ( from Kathie Keil Crozier, a resident of Shoreline, for her cousin, Seaman 1st Class Ralph Henry Keil who was KIA on the USS Oklahoma December 7, 1941.

Seaman 1st Class Ralph Henry Keil
died at Pearl Harbor at the age of 20
He was 20 years old. 

His unidentified remains were buried in a mass grave at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater ( in Honolulu, Hawaii, along with the other 389 Oklahoma crew sailors who died that day. 

In 2015 the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency ( exhumed remains of the Oklahoma unknowns. 

On December 7, 2019, Ralph Henry Keil was identified by DNA analysis with samples from family members.

This past August 30th would have been his 100th birthday. 

Keil attended high school in Tacoma and Puyallup, graduating from Chimacum High School in Chimacum, WA in 1940. 

Over 80 years later, Seaman 1st Class Ralph Henry Keil will finally be laid to rest at Mountain View Cemetery in Tacoma.


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