Friday, December 7, 2012

Pearl Harbor: The Ghost of the USS Arizona

The USS Arizona has been a tomb ever since the morning of December 7th. 

When this ship was bombed and sunk, 1,177 crew members perished with her, making it the most significant loss of life on any United States warship in American history. 

On this date in 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, which brought the United States into the Second World War. 

Today the USS Arizona rests in the shallow waters of Pearl Harbor off Oahu, Hawaii, as a tribute to all those who died.


Forward Magazine Explode
The USS Arizona was based along with seven other battleships in Pearl Harbor's "battleship row," its shallow waters ideal for these massive ships. 

During the attack, several bombs hit their mark, one of these penetrated her forecastle, which detonated her forward ammunition magazines. The resulting massive explosion wrecked Arizona’s forward hull, collapsing the forward superstructure, and causing her to sink. 

After the attack, in the following months, much of her armament and topside structure was removed. Two of her aft triple 14th gun turrets were transferred to the Army encampment as coast defense batteries for Oahu.

Arizona’s wrecked hull remains where she sank. 

In the 1950s, she began to be used as a site for memorial ceremonies, and, in the early 1960s, an official memorial was built. 

It is run by the National Park Service. It is a permanent shrine for all those brave souls who lost their lives in Pearl Harbor, and those who died fighting the Pacific war that began there. 

All warships that enter and leave Pearl Harbor, pause and salute the USS Arizona.

Countless visitors to this memorial, which stands on pillars astride Arizona’s broken hull, pay their silent tribute to this tragedy. 

A few bits of this sunken hull, rusted, twisted metal, can be seen near the shallow waterline. Still attached to the deck is the ship’s flagpole; Arizona’s hull still leaks oil from her bunkers—all these decades later. 

Some state this is a fitting tribute for she appears to still bleed for all who were lost on the day Franklin D. Roosevelt called, “a date that will live in infamy”.

For years, people who have visited this memorial and park service employees have witnessed some strange activity. 

Many photographs that have been taken around the memorial have captured strange foggy spots and misty human figures seem to appear in the background of these photographs.

 One specific ghost that appears is said to be the officer who was posted on Arizona’s deck the morning of December 7, 1941.  

Distracted by something personal, he left his station briefly. It was during this time the Japanese planes attacked. This officer was killed. 

Some speculate he is seen because he is driven by guilt to walk the deck, and then look out near the flagpole. He is seen mostly at night, low tide, and in the dim light of dawn.

USS Arizona in the 1930s


Leona Joan said...

The Pearl Harbor Memorial is a lovely and sad place. When I was there, I felt so much sadness for all the brave souls who died there on that fateful day. May they rest in peace on the Other Side. God bless all our service members. 🇺🇸

Unknown said...

My relative on my mother's side is entombed in the Arizona his name was Cecil godspeed

Unknown said...

godspeed, godspeed