USS Arizona Memorial

December 7th, 1941, was the opening of World War 2, in the Pacific arena. In 1931, Japan invaded China’s northern parts and then in 1937, Japan announced a full invasion of China. The United States couldn’t just stand by and let Japan take over Asia’s parts, so they moved their fleets to Pearl Harbor. The strongest ships were the battleships, which were named after the states of the union. U.S. Arizona was made in 1915 and then was Rebuilt and updated in 1930. The ship was surrounded with over 8,000 tons of armor plating and had 14″ guns that could shoot bullets over 20 miles. Since President Theodore Roosevelt didn’t like that idea of just standing around and letting Japan take over Asia, he ordered that the U.S. stop all shipments and deliveries of American oil to Japan. American oil was very important to Japan and so they were upset and had to take charge. The U.S. knew that a surprise attack in Pearl Harbor could happen and they thought they were ready for it. U.S. Commanding officer Hudman E. Kimmel sent out his fleets to exercise and prepare just in case the Japanese decided to plan an attack. On November 26th, 1941, Japan sent 6 aircraft carriers to Hawaii. The U.S. had up to date radar’s, and anti- cap guns that could help protect Oahu.Wheeler Airforce base watched the skies and if signaled by Wheeler, Hickam Airforce base could attack the Japanese Fleets before they were even ready for the attack. The night before the attack, December 6th, 1941, the band on Arizona was holding a band concert on board and no one thought that that would be they’re last day of peace.

At 6 a.m., 220 miles north of Oahu, the still undetected aircraft carriers of Japan sent their planes to Pearl Harbor. First they sent off the Fighters, then the Attack Planes (that had special bombs to hit and sink battleships, or Torpedo’s that were made to run in the shallow water of Pearl Harbor), and last were the Dive Bombers. There were 183 Japanese planes sent out in all. 30 minutes later another 167 planes left the carriers. Around the same time, the destroyer word sighted and sunk and 2 man midget submarine. Right after that the radar installation team sighted a huge flight
of planes coming into the harbor. They notified the operators and Fort Shafter but the operator told them that it was probably just the B-17’s that were due in from California that morning, and told them not to worry about it. The radar installation team was the first to detect the Japanese strike force.
At 7:48 a.m., Kaneohe Bay was bombed and right after Fort Shafter’s planes and hangers were destroyed. On the northern side of Ford Island, the cruiser ship Roly and the trainer ship Utah were hit. The Utah rolled over too quickly and anyone inside couldn’t get out. 58 men went down with Utah. More torpedo planes came in through the south entrance of Pearl Harbor and attacked Oklahoma, California and West Virginia. West Virginia settled in the shallow waters. California almost cap-sized but then quickly counter flooded and she also sank up right. Oklahoma rolled over so quickly, 115 men were trapped inside.

A few minutes after 8 a.m., Arizona was bombed. The bomb went through the deck and collided with the forward ammunition magazine that caused ton’s of ammunition to explode. In the explosion, 1,177 men died without even knowing what hit them.
Around 8:50 a.m., the second wave of Japanese crafts pulled into the Harbor. The second wave hit Hickam and Wheeler Army Base again. The smoke from all the explosions gave some cover from the Japanese planes but they soon spotted Nevada, already damaged and barely running, trying to make it to sea. The torpedo planes charged Nevada bombing her decks. The Captain soon pulled The Nevada to rest in the shallow waters of Hospital Point to avoid blocking the channel.

At 10:00 a.m., the Japanese planes left. Japan had caused the United States Navy the biggest disaster they had ever experienced. 21 Vessels, including all 8 battleships were either sunk or damaged. There were over