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  USS Arizona BB-39
USN
Pennsylvania Class Battleship

31,400 Tons
608' x 97' x 28.8'
12 x 14" guns
22 x 5" guns
4 x 3" guns
2 x 21" torpedoes

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USN c1930s

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USN Dec 7, 1941

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USN 1999

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Justin Taylan 2004
Ship History
Built by Brooklyn Navy Yard in Brooklyn, NY. Laid down March 16, 1914 as a Pennsylvania Class Battleship known as battleship number 39 with the keel laid with Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt present. The Navy Yard hoped to set a world record for building from keep to completion of 10 months but by that date was only roughly halfway finished. Launched June 19, 1915 after roughly fifteen months and named USS Arizona named for the state of Arizona that became the newest state three years prior and sponsored by Esther Ross the daughter of an early Arizona pioneer family. Commissioned October 17, 1916 in the U. S. Navy (USN).

Prewar History
During World War I, USS Arizona operated out of Norfolk, Virginia as a gunnery training ship and patrolling the eastern seaboard from Virginia to New York. After the war, Arizona embarked 238 U. S. veterans from Brest, France to New York, NY.

During the inter war years, operated from the Caribbean and California, and was modified and used for training exercises. During March 1929, U. S. President Herbert Hoover embarked on board the modernized battleship and sailed for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and returned to Hampton Roads, VA.

On September 30, 1940 returned to Long Beach then overhauled at the Puget Sound Navy Yard at Bremerton adding anti-aircraft guns and Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd took command.

In January 1941 departed Bremerton and arrived Pearl Harbor on February 3, 1941. Arizona resumed training exercises and on June 11, 1941 departed Pearl Harbor on a voyage to Long Beach then returned to Pearl Harbor on July 8, 1941 and resumed exercises and training in the Hawaiian area. On October 27, 1941 Arizona again underwent a brief overhaul at Pearl Harbor Navy Yard adding the foundation for a search radar atop the foremast.

On December 4, 1941 USS Arizona, USS Nevada (BB-36) and USS Oklahoma (BB-37) conducted a night training and live fire exercise then returned to Pearl Harbor on December 5, 1941 entered Battleship Row berth F 7 inside Pearl Harbor. On December 6, 1941 repair ship USS Vestal AR-4 was moored alongside.

Sinking History
On December 7, 1941 in the morning Arizona was moored at Battleship Row berth F 7 inside Pearl Harbor with USS Vestal AR-4 alongside. Aboard was Rear Admiral Kidd and Captain Franklin van Valkenburgh and the crew of 1,512. During the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor Arizona was among the warships targeted by Japanese carrier aircraft.

During the first wave of the Japanese attack around 8:00am, a B5N1 Kate from Kaga flying at high altitude dropped a bomb that hit the side of the no. 4 turret and glanced off into penetrating the deck below and caused small fire but causing minimal damage. At 8:06am, an armor piercing bomb dropped by a B5N1 Kate from Hiryu hit between and to port of gun turrets no. 1 and no. 2. The bomb exploded and detonated the forward ammunition magazine causing an explosion that destroyed the forward part of the vessel. The explosion was recorded in a color cine footage.

Fates of the Crew
In total, 1,177 of Arizona's crew died, approximately half of the lives lost during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Oahu making the Arizona the largest loss of life. Among those killed were S1c Paul Z. Hollenbach.

Memorial
During 1962, the Arizona memorial straddling the sunken vessel was dedicated with a marble memorial plaque that reads "To the Memory of the Gallant Men Here Entombed and their shipmates who gave their lives in action on December 7, 1941, on the U.S.S. Arizona" with the names of all the personnel killed in the sinking. Since 1980, the Arizona Memorial is administered by the National Park Service (NPS) and accessible to visitors by a U. S. Navy launch that transports visitor from the USS Arizona Memorial and Museum to the Arizona Memorial on a daily basis.

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020

 

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