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70 Years Ago Today: Remembering the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor
Stand With Arizona ^ | 12-07-2011 | John Hill

Posted on 12/07/2011 8:56:12 AM PST by montag813

by John Hill
Stand With Arizona

Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. - President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Congress, 12/08/1941
The Dec. 7, 1941, bombing of Pearl Harbor and those who lost their lives that day are being remembered today on the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack that brought the U.S. into World War II. About 120 survivors will join the Navy Secretary, military leaders and civilians to observe a moment of silence in Pearl Harbor at 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time — the moment the attack began seven decades ago. About 3,000 people are expected to attend the event held each year at a site overlooking the sunken USS Arizona and the white memorial that straddles the battleship.

The Arizona was sunk during the attack. 1,177 of its 1,400 men were killed - fully half the total U.S. dead on that infamous day. May they rest in peace.

ABOUT THE ARIZONA

The Arizona was built at the Brooklyn Naval Yard in New York City, and was commissioned on October 17, 1916.


Above: The newly-commissioned USS Arizona in the East River, New York City, c. 1916. (U.S. Naval Historical Center)

On December 7th, 1941, the Arizona's ship's air raid alarm went off about 07:55, and the ship went to general quarters soon thereafter. Shortly after 08:00, the ship was attacked. Japanese bombers hit in and around the ship with 4 of 7 bombs.

But it only took one hit to sink the Arizona and kill 84% of its crew. And it was no ordinary bomb - it was an I.E.D. - a converted 16" shell used by the Japanese for its armor-piercing abilities that standard "dumb" bombs did not possess.


A G.I. sitting on a dud 16" shell - the same kind which struck the U.S.S. Arizona, causing a catastrophic explosion.

This IED was dropped in a level bombing attack from 9,800 feet. It pierced the forward decks between turrets and by all the worse luck hit a small magazine which held 1000 pounds of black powder used in launching the ship’s seaplanes from the catapults. This magazine was adjacent to the main forward magazine which held all the big boom stuff, when the IED and 1000 pounds of black powder exploded, the main magazine was penetrated causing a massive secondary explosion which destroyed everything below main deck forward on the ship and under it’s superstructure…and 1,177 crew.

1,177 men died on board the Arizona alone, including ADM David C. Kidd, Battleship Division 1 Commander, Commanding Officer, CAPT Franklin Van Valkenburgh, and the entire USS Arizona band, at their stations passing ammunition under Turret Gun 1.


The USS Arizona after its explosion. The ship burned for two solid days. 84% of its crew perished.

400 Sailors were trapped inside the Arizona's hull as she sank. Reliable sources indicate that that there was probably enough air to last the last Sailor left alive until approximately Christmas Eve of that year. The Arizona, an oil burning ship, burned for two solid days and the sunken ship is still discharging oil today, "tears" as they say in the Navy. The story goes that the tears will stop when the last survivor of the Arizona is laid to rest.


USS Arizona Memorial Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The sunken remains of the ship lies beneath.

The wreck of Arizona remains at Pearl Harbor to commemorate the men of her crew lost that December morning in 1941. In 1950, the U.S. instituted the raising of colors over her remains. Congress designated the wreck as a national shrine in 1962. A memorial was built across the ship's sunken remains, including a shrine room listing the names of the lost crew members on a marble wall. It is a sight to behold, and at which to reflect on the dreadful loss of life, and the momentous chain of events it set into motion that forever changed the course of world history.


One of the 2 bells from the USS Arizona hangs in the clock tower of the University of Arizona at Tucson.

On this day, at 10:55 Phoenix time, The Pearl Harbor-based guided missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon will render honors to the Arizona and blow its whistle at the start of a moment of silence — the same time 70 years ago the first Japanese planes began to attack.

May we never, ever forget that infamous day, nor the brave souls who perished. May they rest in peace.



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; US: Arizona
KEYWORDS: arizona; december7; fdr; pearlharbor; roosevelt; worldwar2; ww2; wwii

1 posted on 12/07/2011 8:56:26 AM PST by montag813
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To: montag813


Arizona in the 30s


The memorial


Wall of Names


Still leaking oil


2 posted on 12/07/2011 8:58:20 AM PST by DeoVindiceSicSemperTyrannis (Want to make $$$? It's easy! Pimp your blog for hits on Free Republic!)
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To: montag813

We visited the Arizona memorial a year ago.
Fifty feet away as we approached the memorial, I could recognize the whiff of N6 fuel oil.


3 posted on 12/07/2011 9:01:44 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: DeoVindiceSicSemperTyrannis
I urge all visitors to the Memorial to walk across the parking area to the under-publicized USS Bowfin Submarine and Museum.......true hands-on as to what these guys had to endure on their missions.


4 posted on 12/07/2011 9:06:00 AM PST by ErnBatavia (Obama Voters: Jose Baez wants YOU for his next jury pool.......)
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To: montag813
One of the most stirring things i have ever felt was when I took a tour of the USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor. My sons and I had toured the Arizona memorial earlier. Standing next to the surrender plaque and looking back at the Arizona's memorial from the place where the war ended makes you think.

5 posted on 12/07/2011 9:09:30 AM PST by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: montag813
Pics of the day after HERE.

Also the USS Oklahoma which suffered 429 casualties - many of them trapped in the overturned hull.

6 posted on 12/07/2011 9:09:42 AM PST by Oatka (This is the USA, assimilate or evaporate.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Called the weeping of oil and its sigh.


7 posted on 12/07/2011 9:12:04 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: montag813

As I sailed out of port last year on the USS Bonhomme Richard, the ship’s company, as available assembled on the flight deck. As we passed the memorials, all saluted and there was complete silence.

What really amazed me, seeing it for the first time was the still-standing aircraft control tower. It is pockmarked with bullet holes from the attack. It has never been repaired or painted over. I was told that it is a grim reminder to every sailor and Marine to be ever vigilant and never forget.

My Dad was on the USS Phoenix, forward watch, when the attack started. Semper fi to them all.


8 posted on 12/07/2011 9:12:57 AM PST by gandalftb (11th MEU, 2/4 Echo, TRAP Force)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Called the weeping of oil and its sigh.


9 posted on 12/07/2011 9:14:05 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: GonzoGOP

The Mizzou ship living in retirement, the finish of WW 2 across from where it all started.


10 posted on 12/07/2011 9:17:17 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: gandalftb

Wow! My dad was also on the USS Phoenix during the attack. He spent most of the war with her. He said they just sat there for the first 30 minutes waiting for the boilers to develope enough steam so they could get underway. Fortunately as a cruiser, they were not targeted by the Japs.


11 posted on 12/07/2011 9:29:26 AM PST by Pamlico (Oppose 0bama at every opportunity)
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To: montag813

The after turrets and ammunition from the stern magazines were salvaged for reuse.

I like to think that, at the Battle of Surigao Strait on the night of October 25th 1944, at least one of Arizona’s surviving sisters from Battleship Row fired some of those shells at Japanese warships.


12 posted on 12/07/2011 9:43:03 AM PST by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy... and call it progress")
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To: gandalftb
My Dad was on the USS Phoenix, forward watch, when the attack started. Semper fi to them all.

Transferred to Argentina after the war and renamed General Belgrano, and sunk by a British submarine during the 1982 Falklands War. Last ship at Pearl Harbor to be sunk in combat.
13 posted on 12/07/2011 10:03:39 AM PST by fallujah-nuker (Pat Buchanan, kryptonite to RINO's)
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To: M1903A1
I like to think that, at the Battle of Surigao Strait on the night of October 25th 1944, at least one of Arizona’s surviving sisters from Battleship Row fired some of those shells at Japanese warships.

Five of them were, West Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, California and Pennsylvania. Also the USS Phoenix was present. I've always thought that the surrender should have been signed aboard one of the Battleships that was at Pearl Harbor.
14 posted on 12/07/2011 10:12:41 AM PST by fallujah-nuker (Pat Buchanan, kryptonite to RINO's)
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To: All

We had a majority of men who loved America at that time...Men who were brave enough and honorable enough to STAND for America...Not so sure today...I miss them each and every one....


15 posted on 12/07/2011 10:36:22 AM PST by Boonie
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To: montag813
If you get a chance, see Here Comes the Navy with James Cagney and Pat O'Brien. It's a 1934 movie with awesome peacetime footage of Arizona. It's particularly sobering knowing her not too distance future fate. I don't know if it is out on DVD but TCM shows it occasionally.
16 posted on 12/07/2011 10:56:47 AM PST by GATOR NAVY ("The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen." -Dennis Prager)
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To: montag813

I once worked with someone whose uncle was on the Arizona on December 7th. The uncle was on deck for Sunday mass and so was able to escape with his life.


17 posted on 12/07/2011 11:04:39 AM PST by LiveFree99
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To: montag813

According to what a History Channel special told me, any Arizona survivor can — if he chooses — be cremated when he dies and the Navy will have a scuba diver safely deposit the remains on the wreck so the man can rejoin his shipmates. There can’t be many of them left now to make that choice.


18 posted on 12/07/2011 11:08:17 AM PST by ClubCaved
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To: ClubCaved

Some time ago I read that the Navy has steel salvaged from the Arizona’s superstructure in storage, and family members of a deceased Arizona survivor can take home a piece of the ship as a memento.


19 posted on 12/07/2011 11:33:41 AM PST by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy... and call it progress")
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To: ClubCaved

30 Arizona survivors have chosen to rejoin their shipmates in this manner so far...


20 posted on 12/07/2011 11:34:02 AM PST by Boonie
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To: ClubCaved

Some time ago I read that the Navy has steel salvaged from the Arizona’s superstructure in storage, and family members of a deceased Arizona survivor can take home a piece of the ship as a memento.


21 posted on 12/07/2011 11:34:12 AM PST by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy... and call it progress")
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To: M1903A1

whoops


22 posted on 12/07/2011 11:35:43 AM PST by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy... and call it progress")
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To: Pamlico

“USS Phoenix”

They started making steam early as they had to sail out for target practice. Very lucky as they were able to get to open sea.

The japs turned right above the Phoenix to make their runs, that slowed them down and allowed the Phoenix gunners to shoot three down.

They were so low, when one of the cooks came up to see the action, he started throwing potatoes at them, LOL.


23 posted on 12/07/2011 11:43:12 AM PST by gandalftb (11th MEU, 2/4 Echo, TRAP Force)
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To: fallujah-nuker

My Dad saw the photo on the newspaper front page the day the General Belgrano was sunk, but the article didn’t name it as the former USS Phoenix.

He looked at the photo and said “That’s the Phoenix, I served on her”. Some things you never forget. That triggered the only time he talked about Pearl Harbor.


24 posted on 12/07/2011 11:48:19 AM PST by gandalftb (11th MEU, 2/4 Echo, TRAP Force)
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