Google USS Pensacola and several websites have the history and pictures of the cruiser (CA24) including damage after the torpedo attack. From the description of the damage and pictures, there may not have been a any remains left to deal with. From the website Answers.com:
"The oil-fed flames engulfed Pensacola's main deck aft where torpedoes and machine gun ammunition exploded. Only supreme effort and skillful damage control by her gallant men saved the ship. The fire, punctuated by the frightful explosion of 8 inch projectiles in her Number 3 turret, gradually subsided. Pensacola made steady progress towards Tulagi. She arrived there still aflame. After twelve hours the last fire was quenched. Her dead numbered 7 officers and 118 men. One officer and 67 men were injured.
Camouflaged as part of the island, Pensacola made repairs in Tulagi Harbor that enabled her to steam to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides Island. She arrived there 6 December for emergency repairs by repair ship Vestal until she sailed 7 January 1943 via Samoa to Pearl Harbor, arriving 27 January."
I doubt any of the dead were sent or taken to Hawaii, they were most likely removed at Tulagi and as it was still in flames as it arrived I also doubt they had any burials at sea before it got there.
Your friend should be able at get his service records as Naval records were not destroyed in the NARA fire of 1973.
In the google search I did I also found a link to a site selling a CD copy of the Cruise Book of the ship that states it has pictures of the crew and various information during it's WWII service. Google "cruise book" and an explation can be found as to what they are. I have no connection or information about the website selling these so if your friend is interested they should check them out with the BBB and others. If they had one for the USS Tulagi CVE 72, the carrier my husband was on during WWII, I'd check them out myself.