Pearl Harbor Raid, 7 December 1941
Salvage Work on USS Arizona, 1942-43

There was never much expectation that the shattered wreck of the Arizona could be raised and returned to service. Though consideration was given to cutting loose the the ship's relatively intact after portion and refloating it, divers' examinations of the wreck indicated that the work involved would not be worthwhile.

During 1942, most of the battleship's guns were removed and many of these were put back into service. Her two after turrets, and their 14"/50 guns, were turned over to the Army for use in coastal defense emplacements on Oahu. One of these two fortifications was completed far enough to fire test shots at the end of World War II, but neither achieved combat-ready status. Both were discarded following the war. Also removed were Arizona's intact tripod mainmast and partially collapsed foremast, armored conning tower, bridge and most of the rest of her superstructure. The ship's hull was left where it sank, a tomb for many of whose who lost their lives with her, and ultimately a memorial to her casualties and to all those killed in the Pearl Harbor raid.

This page features views related to salvage work on the wreck of USS Arizona.

For views of USS Arizona at the time of her destruction

For other views of the salvage of ships sunk or severely damaged in the Pearl Harbor raid

Click photograph for larger image.

Photo #: NH 83993

USS Arizona (BB-39)

View of the sunken battleship's forward superstructure, showing damage caused when her forward magazines exploded during the 7 December 1941 Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The photograph was taken on 17 February 1942, as work began to remove the collapsed wreckage.
The crane in the left background was then removing Arizona's mainmast.

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Forrestal Collection, 1975.

NHHC photograph.

Online Image: 139KB; 740 x 605

Photo #: NH 64303

Pearl Harbor Salvage Operations, 1942-43

Members of the diving crew emerge from water-filled compartments of the sunken battleship Arizona (BB-39), at Pearl Harbor, 25 May 1943. They are removing elements of the ships armament and other items for reuse.
Arizona had been sunk in the 7 December 1941 Japanese air raid. Her hull was left where she sank, after removal of most of her superstructure and salvage of her after 14" gun turrets and other guns.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, NHHC Collection.

Online Image: 142KB; 740 x 610


For higher resolution images see Obtaining Photographic Reproductions

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