USS Arizona

USS Arizona

Learning about one of the most pivotal moments in US history: the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the subsequent entry of the United States into World War II, visitors to Pearl Harbor honor those that died there and on the USS Arizona.

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On December 7, 1941 at 7:55 a.m., Japanese fighter planes initiated an attack on Pearl Harbor. During the attack the Battleship USS Arizona was bombed four times and eventually sank, killing 1,177 sailors and Marines (nearly half of the casualties at Pearl Harbor). Over 900 of these brave souls could not be recovered from the ship and remain on-board to this day.

Today, the Battleship USS Arizona rests where she fell, submerged no more than 40 feet off the coast of Ford Island in Honolulu, where “black tears” still flow from its wreckage. These “black tears” are the last remnants of the nearly 1.5 million gallons of fuel held aboard the USS Arizona before she sank. More than 500,000 gallons of which is still slowly seeping out of the ship’s submerged wreckage. This oil, that often coats the surface of the water surrounding the ship and monument, adds an emotional gravity for many who visit the memorial and is also sometimes referred to as the “tears of the Arizona”.

Now, a monument designed by famed Honolulu architect Alfred Preis resides on top of the sunken USS Arizona. The monument was built to honor the memories of the crew of the USS Arizona, as well as the many other service members and civilians killed during the attack. 

Visitors to the USS Arizona as well as the nearby Pacific Aviation Museum can gain a greater understanding about a day that will always live in infamy, a day that took the lives of 2,341 sailors, soldiers and Marines, as well as 49 civilians and plunged the US headlong into WWII.

Visit the USS Arizona on one of our many tours to Pearl Harbor with Polynesian Adventure Activities.