Pearl Harbor Attack

The battleship USS Arizona BB-39 was a Pennsylvania -class battleship commissioned on October 17, 1916. As a newly constructed battleship, using oil-fired boilers instead of coal, the USS Arizona battleship was not selected to join Battle Squadron 6 in Europe and remained in US waters for the duration of WWI. In 1929 the Battleship Arizona underwent an extensive modernization program. The battleship Arizona was transferred to the naval base at Pearl Harbor along with the rest of the fleet amid rising tensions with Japan. In October 1941, she collided with the USS Oklahoma during a training exercise. This required her to undergo repairs at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, delaying her trip to the mainland for an overhaul. She was still in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941. General quarters was sounded, and the crew proceeded to prepare the ship to fight off the attacking aircraft. The USS Arizona battleship was hit by several armor-piercing bombs. One penetrated the deck and set off the forward magazine. The resulting explosion effectively tore the ship in half. The forward part of the ship, including the citadel, collapsed. The resulting fire burned for two days. This event killed 1,177 men, approximately half of the deaths that occurred during the attack. Three Medals of Honor were awarded on the USS Arizona battleship. Lieutenant Commander Samuel Fuqua for rallying the survivors and coordinating their evacuation from the ship. Captain Franklin van Valkenburgh and Rear Admiral Isaac “Captain” Kidd, who was on the bridge when the forward magazine detonated. Rear Admiral Kidd was the first US Flag Officer killed in WWII. The USS Arizona Memorial Monument remains at Pearl Harbor to this day as a memorial to the attack. Please view the list to learn the names of those who lost their lives on that day.

USS Arizona (BB-39) Underway with President Herbert Hoover on board, March 1931. The Presidential Flag is flying from her mainmast peak. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph., Unknown author,, PD-USGov

The USS Arizona (BB-39) burning after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Unknown author or not provided, National Archives and Records Administration, cataloged under the National Archives Identifier (NAID) 195617, PD-USGov