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The U.S.S. Arizona -
Timeline of Her Life

At anchor in Port Angeles, Washington
16 August 1928.
Presidential Welcome
     The USS Arizona held a very special niche in history. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, was at the laying of the first keel plates of the ship, in the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, 16 March 1914. He was President of the United States when she was sunk. He was at the birth and death, as the 32nd president.
     Launching took place 19 June 1915 and the next year, 17 October 1916, the USS Arizona was commissioned.
     13 December 1918 the USS Arizona escorted President Wilson, our 28th president, to Brest, France, along with the Atlantic Fleet. She did not go overseas in the first World War because she was an oil burner not a coal burner as was the rest of the Atlantic Fleet. She was, actually, involved as a training ship and she patroled the eastern seaboard.

U.S. Fleet of Battleships , November 1936.
Leading ship is the USS Arizona, followed by USS Nevada, USS Maryland and USS Texas.
Dressed For The Job
     1929-1931, the USS Arizona's cage masts were replaced with tri-pod masts during a complete renovation at Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia.
     After Arizona was recommissioned in March 1931, our 31st President, Herbert Hoover, joined the USS Arizona BB-39, for a cruise to the West Indies.
     The Arizona was transfered to the Pacific Coast permanently in the early 1930's.
     Arizona spent the next 9 years protecting our western shores. Held maneuvers, gunnery practice, entered dry dock in Puget Sound, Washington and Hunters Point, San Francisco, California to keep her "ship shape' and prepared for conflicts that might require her fire power.

Last known official photo of the Arizona
18 January 41.
This was taken one day before she sailed from Bremerton, Washington, out of the Puget Sound Navy Yard with a new configuration, the 'bird bath' (anti-aircraft platform atop the mainmast).
Courtesy of Oree Weller, Survivor, N. Division
Her Time Comes To An End
     The Arizona was destroyed by a projectile that struck the starboard (right side) side of the deck just forward of the number two turret. The resulting blast, a force of one kiloton (equivalent to 1,000 tons of TNT) broke Arizona's back and obliterated the forward part of the ship. Only one man survived the blast from the bridge area. Everyone below decks was killed.
     Nine years later, a simple platform was erected above the deck of the sunken and rusting hull of Arizona. Salvage work on the sunken ship had been completed during the war. All usable parts were used aboard other warships and scrap metal was returned to the war effort.
     7 March 1950, Admiral A. W. Radford, Commander-in-Chief Pacific Fleet, ordered our National Ensign to be flown above the Arizona from that day forward on the new flagpole attached to the sunken superdreadnaught.
Please also refer to U.S.S. Arizona History


Copyright 2002-2018 Lorraine Marks-Haislip