Pearl Harbor Raid, 7 December 1941
Righting of USS Utah, 1943-1944



Salvage on the old target and training ship Utah was a limited venture. Though consideration had been given to refloating her by pumping the capsized hull full of air and towing her in that condition over to a drydock for scrapping, that project was quickly seen to be far more difficult than it was worth. The work actually done used the righting gear previously employed on USS Oklahoma to roll Utah partially upright, thus moving her closer to Ford Island and away from the busy shipping channel. This was carried out from the fall of 1943 into the spring of 1944, leaving the ship on the bottom of Pearl Harbor with only some of her starboard deck edge showing above water. She remains in that location to this day. Some of Utah's guns and other equipment were also recovered.

This page features views related to the partial righting of USS Utah following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Images of USS Utah during and shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack

Other images of the salvage of ships sunk or severely damaged in the Pearl Harbor raid


Click photograph for larger image.

Photo #: NH 83996

Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii


View looking eastward from over Pearl City, with Ford Island in the middle of the view and Diamond Head in the distant center, 1 August 1942.
USS Long Island (CVE-1) and USS Hornet (CV-8) are moored along Ford Island's western side, protected by anti-torpedo nets. The capsized hull of USS Utah (AG-16), a victim of the 7 December 1941 Japanese air raid, is astern of Long Island.

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. Collection of The Honorable James V. Forrestal.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, NHHC Collection.

Online Image: 126KB; 740 x 600

 
Photo #: NH 64499

Salvage of USS Utah (AG-16), 1943-44


Aerial view looking aft over the sunken ship's upturned hull, showing righting headframes in place prior to the beginning of righting operations, 15 November 1943.
Utah, which had capsized to port during the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, was partially righted in salvage operations, but was not refloated.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, NHHC Collection.

Online Image: 111KB; 585 x 765

 
Photo #: NH 64300

Salvage of USS Utah (AG-16), 1943-44


Operations to roll the sunken ship toward the Ford Island shore, seen from off-shore during the first pulling period, 8 February 1944.
Utah, which had capsized to port during the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, was partially righted in this salvage operation, but was not refloated.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, NHHC Collection.

Online Image: 139KB; 740 x 610

 
Photo #: NH 83059

Salvage of USS Utah (AG-16), 1943-44


View from offshore, looking toward Ford Island, showing the sunken ship's starboard deck edge area during righting operations, 10 February 1944. Visible on her superstructure deck, in center, are an open 5"/38 single gun mount and a 1.1" quad machine gun mount.

Collection of Vice Admiral Homer N. Wallin, USN, 1975.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, NHHC Collection.

Online Image: 76KB; 740 x 610

 
Photo #: NH 64301

USS Utah (AG-16)


Under salvage at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 13 February 1944. The ship, which capsized to port after being torpedoed in the Japanese attack of 7 December 1941, is seen at about the 68 degree position at the completion of the first pulling period. Her blister plating has been cut away around the turn of the bilge to provide fairlead to hitch pads.
Salvage efforts rolled her back toward Ford Island, but she was not refloated.

NHHC Photograph.

Online Image: 124KB; 595 x 765

 
Photo #: NH 64302

Salvage of USS Utah (AG-16), 1943-44


The ship in its final position after completion of righting operations, still rolled 37 degrees 45' to port, 13 March 1944.
Utah, which had capsized to port during the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, was partially righted in salvage operations, but was not refloated.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, NHHC Collection.

Online Image: 111KB; 585 x 765

 


For higher resolution images Obtaining Photographic Reproductions





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