The Damage Done To The U.S.S. Arizona
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January 1941


     To the left is an enlarged view of the addition of the anti-aircraft platform known as the "Birdbath" with a smaller signal mast attached to the aft side of the platform. The smaller mast replaced a larger mast removed when the anti-aircraft platform was installed on the forward side of the Mainmast. The 'signal mast' in this copy is the one on display in Wesley Bolin Plaza, East of Arizona's State Capitol.
     Photo Below: Resting in the mud off Pearl Harbor after the fires, which burned for several days, died down. The mainmast collapsed as a result of a bomb striking the starboard side (right side) of number two turret and causing the ammunition and black powder to explode. The 1,800,000 pounds of ammunition detonated with the force of one kiloton, directing the force of the blast to the port side (left).
     A survey team, in 1983, conducted under water explorations of the hull of the battleship Arizona. Their finding disclosed no evidence of torpedo damage however, there have been differing points of view. The bow and 20 feet toward the stern (rear of ship) was intact. The next 200 feet, where the explosion occurred, was 2 to 4 feet wider and the armoured deck and hull plates were folded back. A 2-inch crack separated the forward port side from the aft section and continued under the hull almost SEVERED the starboard side. The survey disclosed the number one turret, upright, 30 feet below its original location and was concealed by 5 to 7 feet of murky water. Four 5" anti-aircraft shells were found on deck and removed. One and one half million gallons of fuel oil is still being released via a small drop of oil every fifteen seconds.

     The bomb that sunk the Arizona was designed to penetrate the deck and explode before it reached the bottom of the ship. The bomb itself could not have sunk the Arizona but after it was dropped in the powder magazine the resulting blast rendered the ship incapable of defending itself.


She was awarded one battle star.


     The USS Arizona Memorial is built directly over where the main mast was removed, forward of turret three.  


Copyright 2002-2018 Lorraine Marks-Haislip