One Of Hawaiiʻs Top Attractions – Pearl Harbor, Oahu – Hawaii
The USS Arizona Battleship main battery consisted of four turrets carrying triple 14 inch guns, two turrets forward and two aft. Their maximum range was around 12 miles. Twenty two 5 inch guns on both broadside hulls (11 per side) defended against torpedo boats with a range of just under 8 miles. Along with four 3 inch guns for anti-aircraft defense the Arizona was also mounted with two torpedo tubes and the ship was stocked with a total of 24 torpedos.
Modernized in 1929 the Arizona received new tripod masts while the number of 5-inch guns were reduced to 12 and repositioned one deck higher. Eight more 5-inch anti aircraft guns replaced the four 3-inch guns. The main gun turrets were upgraded to elevate 30 degrees from the original 15 degrees, increasing their range. More powerfully geared turbines replaced the high pressure turbines and six new boilers replaced the originals giving her a top speed of 20 knots (23.8 mph).
In 1931 the Arizona hosted president Herbert Hoover for a brief vacation in the Caribbean. Afterwards the ship was used for training and in 1933 provided aid after a 6.4M earthquake struck Long Beach California killing over 115 people. A year later the ship was featured in a Jimmy Cagney movie “Here Comes the Navy” in 1934. Crew members were extras during the filming of the romantic comedy.
The ship was refitted again in 1940 with more anti-aircraft armaments (5-inch guns), four water cooled machine guns and search radar. After the upgrades she was transferred along with the rest of the Pacific Fleet to Pearl Harbor as a deterrent to Japanese aggressions in southeast Asia.
Pearl Harbor December 7th 1941
The first wave of 183 Japanese Navy aircraft takes off from their carriers, just north of Oahu, to make the
230-mile trek to Oahu.
Enemy planes detected by radar, by two Army personnel, but junior officer disregards, thought it was Boeing
B-17 planes due to arrive from California.
2nd wave of 167 Japanese Zero planes takes off from their carriers towards Oahu.
The first wave of attack begins. 50 medium bombers, 43 A6M Zero fighters, and 40 Kate torpedo bombers.
The second wave of attack swoops in attacking targets of opportunity including auxiliary ships and facilitates in the harbor.
Attack ends. Over 2,400 people are killed, 1,177 are wounded. 1,104 sailors perish within the hull of the battleship USS Arizona.
The first of four bombs struck the boat deck and did limited damage.
The second bomb hit No.4 turret and started a fire below deck. Due to a lack of water pressure, the crew battled the fire with hand fire extinguishers.
The third bomb hit near the rear of the port-side 5-inch gun and did limited damage.
The fourth bomb penetrated the deck near No.2 turret. The explosion likely ignited a small magazine of black powder, and seven seconds later the main magazines detonated in a cataclysmic explosion, blowing out the front of the ship and causing the conning tower to collapse
Several eyewitnesses said they saw a torpedo heading for the stern, but there has been no evidence discovered that the ship was hit by a torpedo. Some suggests that a mini-sub fired at the ship, but the navy maintains it was sunk by only bombs
Every year over 1 million people visit Pearl Harbor and the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. This is one of the most popular national military monuments in the nation along with the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington D.C., Mount Rushmore in South Dakota and Castillo de San Marcos in St Augustine Florida.