Inside Pearl Harbor Memorial

April 12, 2021
Inside the shrine room of the
2. She was hit by 2 bombs (of 10 dropped) none down the stack. The fatal bomb hit forward, between #1 and #2 turrets, detonating the forward magazine and causing the forward decks to collapse. The "down the stack" theory is disproved by several facts:

  • The deck over the boilers is intact to this day.
  • The boiler uptakes are visible.
  • If the boilers had exploded, the deck would be gone.
  • The screen that was over the top of the stack was found intact in the harbor.
  • A bomb falling down the stack would have pierced the screen.
  • A boiler explosion would not have caused the forward decks to collapse as they did.
  • The "down the stack" theory is perpetuated by the notion that the superstructure was blasted forward as shown in well-known pictures.
  • This was actually caused by the collapse of the decks below the superstructure. (Source is – Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships – several other publications and inspection of the photos of the ship.)

The actual mechanics of the fatal bomb hit are as follows:

  • The bomb was a converted 16.1" naval shell.
  • It hit just forward and to the side of turret #2.
  • It started a large oil fire in the forward part of the ship.
  • The oil fire ignited over 1, 000 pounds of black powder for the aircraft catapults, which was kept in a small magazine between #1 and #2 turrets.
  • The explosion of the black powder caused the forward main magazine to explode, destroying the forward part of the ship.

3. Contrary to popular belief all 14" guns were removed, three of the twelve 14" guns remain in place.

  • #3 and # 4 turrets and their guns were removed, as were the guns in turret #2 and part of the turret itself.
  • Turret #1 and its guns remain in place, intact.
  • The forward turret and the guns of #1 were too badly damaged by the explosion to re-use so they were left in place.
  • Parts of #2 turret was removed to facilitate the removal of the guns.
  • The existence of the turret and guns is clearly supported by overhead photography, such as the picture on page 55 of the12/91 issue of National Geographic.
  • The removed guns were used in shore defense batteries.


  1. After she was stricken all of her superstructure was removed, both for the scrap value and because it was a hazard.
  2. Admiral Arthur W. Radford, CinPacFlt, started the tradition of hoisting the US flag over the ship March 7, 1950.
  3. The Memorial over the wreck was dedicated on May 30, 1962. It does not rest on any part of the ship.
  4. Oil is still leaking out of the ship, a few drops at a time.
  5. Due to structural damage from the attack and 60+ years of rust, the Arizona is reportedly nearing the point of collapse.
  6. The Arizona and Utah are the only two ships that were not salvaged after the attack.
  1. The USS Utah capsized during the attack and was partially righted afterwards to clear a berth.
  2. The Arizona was left on the bottom because she is the tomb of about a thousand men and was obviously beyond repair.
  3. The Utah was a target ship and had no military value, so there was no point to expend the effort to salvage her.
  4. The Utah was placed ‘in ordinary’ and transferred to the Pearl Harbor Base Force December 29, 1941, placed out of commission, ‘not in service’ September 5, 1944 and stricken November 13, 1944.
  5. Although the ‘Dictionary of American Fighting Ships’ says the USS Utah is a tomb of an ‘unknown number of men’ some simple math shows there are 60 men inside (6 officers, 58 enlisted killed, 4 buried ashore).
  6. There is a Memorial on Ford Island beside her berth.
  1. The third ship that did-not return to service was the USS Oklahoma BB-37, she capsized during the attack and was righted and raised in 1943.
  2. By that time there was little need for more old slow moving battleships and reconstruction would have taken to the end of the war.
  3. She was decommissioned September 1, 1944 and essentially everything above the main deck was removed. Her guns were installed on the USS Pennsylvania and her hulk remained at Pearl Harbor until after the war.
Pearl Harbor: USS Arizona Memorial Early Bird Tour Video
Pearl Harbor: USS Arizona Memorial Early Bird Tour Video
Pearl Harbor-USS Arizona Memorial
Pearl Harbor-USS Arizona Memorial
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Inside the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites. The Arizona ...
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