Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

USS Arizona (BB-39)

USS Arizona (BB-39), a Pennsylvania-class battleship, was built at the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, and was commissioned in October 1916, serving in the Atlantic and Mediterranean areas until 1921 when she was based in Southern California.   Modernized in 1929-31 at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia, she returned to the Pacific after transporting President Herbert Hoover to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.   From 1940, Arizona and other Pacific Fleet battleships were based out of Pearl Harbor.  On December 7th, 1941, she was moored in "Battleship Row" when Japanese carrier aircraft attacked.  Hit by several bombs, her forward ammunition magazines exploded, wrecking the ship's forward hull and collapsing her forward superstructure, which caused her to sink with the loss of 1,177 of her crew.  Arizona's hull is now a tomb for those who lost their lives.   In the early 1960s, a memorial structure, the USS Arizona Memorial, was constructed over her midship hull.  Operated by the National Park Service, the shrine is a permanent memorial site at Pearl Harbor for those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor and for the servicemembers who lost their lives in the Pacific War.   

Image:   19-LC-19A-18:  USS Arizona (BB-39), port broadside, March 1922.   U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.