Brief History of the USS Arizona BB39
The USS Arizona BB39 was a battleship of the United States Navy that served from 1916 until its sinking in the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The ship was named after the 48th state of the United States and was commissioned on October 17, 1916, under the command of Captain John D. McDonald. It was one of the largest and most powerful battleships of its time, and it had a long and storied history.
The USS Arizona was built at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and was launched on June 19, 1915. The ship was christened by Esther Ross, the daughter of John Ross, the territorial governor of Arizona. The USS Arizona was the third ship of the Pennsylvania class, which also included the USS Pennsylvania and the USS Nevada. The Pennsylvania class was designed to be an improvement over the preceding Wyoming class, with a higher speed and better armor protection.
The USS Arizona BB39 was 608 feet long, had a beam of 97 feet, and had a draft of 29 feet. The ship displaced over 32,000 tons and had a top speed of 21 knots. It was armed with twelve 14-inch guns, twenty-two 5-inch guns, four 3-inch guns, and two 21-inch torpedo tubes. The ship’s armor protection ranged from 1.5 inches to 13.5 inches in thickness.
The USS Arizona was commissioned on October 17, 1916, and was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet. The ship’s first mission was to escort President Woodrow Wilson to France for the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. The USS Arizona was then assigned to the Pacific Fleet and spent much of the interwar period on various missions in the Pacific.
During this time, the USS Arizona underwent several upgrades and modernizations. In 1929, the ship’s engines were replaced with new oil-fired boilers, which increased its speed to 21 knots. The ship’s armor was also upgraded to provide better protection against new threats, such as aerial bombs and torpedoes.
The USS Arizona BB39 was involved in several diplomatic missions during the 1920s and 1930s. In 1927, the ship traveled to Australia to represent the United States at the country’s national celebrations. In 1933, the USS Arizona carried President Franklin D. Roosevelt on a tour of the West Coast. The ship also participated in various naval exercises and training missions in 1929 and 1930.
In 1940, the USS Arizona was assigned to the Pacific Fleet and was based at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The ship was part of Battleship Division One, along with the USS Pennsylvania, USS California, and USS Nevada. The USS Arizona underwent another upgrade, receiving improved anti-aircraft guns and more powerful engines.
The USS Arizona BB39 and its Day of Infamy
On December 7, 1941, the USS Arizona was moored at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the US Pacific Fleet. The ship was hit by four bombs and a torpedo, which caused a massive explosion and fire. The explosion ignited the ship’s ammunition stores, causing a second, larger explosion that sank the ship and killed 1,177 sailors and Marines.
The sinking of the USS Arizona BB39 was a devastating blow to the US Navy and was a turning point in World War II. The loss of the ship and its crew was a significant loss of American lives, and it was a powerful symbol of the sacrifices made by the United States in the war.
Today, the USS Arizona remains at the bottom of Pearl Harbor and serves as a memorial to the sailors and Marines who lost their lives in the attack. The USS Arizona Memorial was dedicated on May 30, 1962, and is a popular tourist attraction.