Frozen In Time

| December 7, 2019

The article linked below contains a timeline collection of photographs of USS Arizona under construction, underway with stacked masts, and after renovation into more modern battleship configuration, in addition to photos of the attack on the ships moored at Ford Island on Dec. 7, 1941.

https://tucson.com/news/retrotucson/rarely-seen-photos-of-the-uss-arizona-sunk-dec-in/collection_da38c166-ac2b-11e6-8ff3-674350ff0b87.html#1

The ship was under construction in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and launched in 1916.  The collection of photographs from various sources show the early 20th century configuration with a launch rail for planes as well as the stacked masts. Arizona was sent for renovation and an upgrade to a more modern configuration in 1929. And then on December 7, 1941, while moored with other ships, including battleships, in Battleship Row at Ford Island, her munitions magazine was hit by Japanese bombs and the magazines exploded.

Now she lies at rest, with one gun turret still showing above the waterline. The fuel tanks still leak into the waters surrounding Arizona.

Fair winds and following seas….

Category: Historical, Navy

Comments (19)

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  1. David says:

    Urban myth says the leaks will cease when her last crew member dies. I find that a moving thought.

    • NHSparky says:

      The myth is wrong. She’ll still be leaking well after.

      Hey, the things you do while on watch and bored. What can I say.

      • David says:

        It’s the anthropomorphism of a beloved hallowed icon that gets me, not a belief in the myth. I suspect she’ll “weep” for decades to come.

  2. NHSparky says:

    Before going to the memorial via motor whaleboat, visitors see a short film regarding her history.

    Somber ain’t the word for it. I wished the Park Service had it available to post.

  3. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    She was used in the movie “Here Comes The Navy” with James Cagney back in 1934:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here_Comes_the_Navy

  4. The Other Whitey says:

    I read somewhere that Arizona was considered the happiest ship in the Pacific Fleet. Remember “They Were Expendable,” the John Wayne movie about PT boats? There’s a scene that’s a real tear-jerker in an already-sad movie where the PT squadron’s cook, a former Arizona Sailor who hasn’t heard the details about Pearl Harbor is telling the younger guys not to worry, that any day now the Pacific Fleet will sail in to rescue the Asiatic Fleet, with Arizona leading the battle line “with her 14-inch guns blazin’!”. The Duke and Robert Montgomery then give eachother a sad look, as neither can bear to tell him what happened to his old ship.

    • Thunderstixx says:

      And the cook was tired of trying to cook on a PT Boat and told the men that the USS Arizona had the best kitchen in the navy.
      Also, the USS Arizona had the best band in the US Navy. They won every “Battle of the Bands” that were part of the fare at Pearl Harbor every weekend.
      The USS Arizona band members were assigned to the Gun Turrets as they generally had no other skills necessary to run a US Naval Ship.
      When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor the men were down in the armory of the turret of the #2 gun which is where the armor piercing bomb dropped from one of the Betty Bombers flying at about 10,000 feet and triggered the explosion seen millions of times by the general public.
      All members of the USS Arizona band were killed that day. They have a special notation on the USS Arizona Memorial Wall.
      Most of them were vaporized instantly when the magazine blew up.
      Godspeed to all of the men that perished on that Horrible Day of Infamy…
      *That information was gleaned from the James D Hornfischer book, “The Fleet at Flood Tide”
      It is without a doubt one of the best books about the US Navy and the War in the Pacific.
      Anything he writes is good.
      * I may be mistaken on the information contained, but without going back and looking it up, my memory may not be as good as it was a few years ago.

      • Drag Racing Maniac says:

        “Betty Bombers flying at about 10,000 feet”

        Uhh… there were no Betty bombers at Pearl Harbor during the attack. it was all IJN carrier based aviation that took part in the attack.

        Just sayin’…

        • rgr769 says:

          That is correct. The Mitsubishi “Betty” was a twin engine land based bomber. All the attacking aircraft at Pearl we’re launched from Jap carriers.

        • Thunderstixx says:

          Like I said, the memory just ain’t what it used to be.
          I also wanted to make a suggestion that any book by Mr Hornfischer is a good read and will immerse you in the battles fought in the War in the Pacific.
          I was hoping to bring out the fact that the USS Arizona Band was so highly regarded in the Pearl Harbor base and how their Battle stations had all of them in the magazines and the fact that all of them died in the explosion that marked the violence of the entry of America to WWII.

      • The Other Whitey says:

        I’m pretty sure the bomber that detonated Arizona’s forward magazine was a Kate, that is, a Nakajima B5N. Single-engine carrier-borne bomber that could be configured as either a torpedo bomber or high-altitude level bomber, with Kates at Pearl Harbor operating in both profiles. The Betty was the Mitsubishi G4M, a land-based twin-engine medium bomber operated by the IJN. The Betty was a very long-ranged aircraft, but no Japanese base was within the Betty’s operational radius from Hawaii. Later harassment raids against the islands were made by Kawanishi H6K Mavis and H8K Emily 4-engine seaplanes, which could reach Pearl from Wake Island.

        Japanese long-range seaplanes rarely did much damage, but the Japs relied heavily on their long-range scouting. The best US aircraft you interdict these recon missions was found to be the B-17, which also had a very long range, was very heavily armed, and could fly circles around the fat & slow Emilys and Mavises.

        These air-to-air sweeps by B-17s are a little-known part of the Pacific war. The aircraft used were in fact the very same B-17Es who arrived unarmed over Hickam Field in the middle of the attack. They patrolled from Hawaii to Australia, in addition to their other missions, and most of them had multiple confirmed seaplane kills. Another notable thing about them was their paint jobs. They were, on orders from a local commander, painted in non-standard blue & green camouflage with no direction given as to pattern, so each plane had a unique camo scheme.

  5. 5th/77th FA says:

    Wow! Excellent post Mi’Lady. Had never seen most of those pictures. Many Thanks! Scrolled on after soaking up the Arizona Pictures for a bunch more Historical shots.

    Really moved by the picture of the ship’s clock that was recovered. Set/stopped at the time She was hit.

    Thank you. #neverforget

  6. 2banana says:

    Hard to imagine that NYC used to be a massive hub of manufacturing.