View Full Version : Pearl Harbor: The USS Arizona Memorial Complex

29-02-2008, 18:13
Just a few photos of the USS Arizona memorial taken last year.

08-02-2009, 00:14
i don't know if any of you saw this: Originally, the decision to move Missouri to Pearl Harbor was met with some resistance. Many people feared that the battleship, whose name has become synonymous with the end of World War II, would overshadow battleship USS Arizona, whose dramatic explosion and subsequent sinking on 7 December 1941 has since become synonymous with the attack on Pearl Harbor. To help guard against this perception Missouri was placed well back from and facing the Arizona Memorial, so that those participating in military ceremonies on Missouri’s aft decks would not have sight of the Arizona Memorial. The decision to have Missouri’s bow face the Arizona Memorial was intended to convey that Missouri now watches over the remains of the battleship Arizona so that those interred within Arizona’s hull may rest in peace. i've never been out there but i would love to go..

John Odom
08-02-2009, 00:21
The Navy and the park service have opposed everything! It took many years to overcome the resistance so that the Okie memorial could be put up.

We are still fighting over proper graves for the so-called unknowns from the Okie. Many had their dogtags or were otherwise readily identifiable. They are in mass graves at the punchbowl now.

08-02-2009, 00:28
i always like that little part on Might MO, i'm glad she has a home.. And like i said, i would love to go out there.. RIP Arizona, you will be missed.

Dave Hutson
12-06-2009, 14:45
Hi Nikki,

Interesting stories on Pearl Harbour. Visited there in 96 or 97 - The USN really looks after visitors to the Arizona Memorial and we found it a moving experience, especially when you find she still breathes [Yeah, I know it is only pockets of oil still after all these years seeping out]. Also went on the big Mo, she looked as if she was "in all respects" ready for sea, and the guys looking after her do a first class job - we even managed to get serruptiously up to the fighting bridge and the view was worth it.
Another favourite of ours is the Fleet Sub "Pampanito" in San Francisco but that is a story for another day.

Aye....... Dave H

Don Boyer
23-09-2009, 07:33
Here's the USS Arizona today, after the upgrades to the monument allowing for better handicapped access and a general cleaning. There have been a large number of photos from overhead in the past few years using Polaroid lenses that will allow a better look at the underwater details. The massive damage forward is quite obvious....turret 1 is still in place, but 33 feet lower than it would have been on the ship, and it still has all three guns in place.

The USS Missouri is located just south of the Memorial, although she is being moved to drydock for painting and refurbishing in early October.

Don Boyer
24-09-2009, 03:40
The Arizona photo I was originally looking for, much better detail. At upper right you can see the back and top of turret 1. Surprisingly, until the National Park Service started using their dive team to catalog the ship (without entering it, by the way) they did not know turret 1 still had it's guns.

24-09-2009, 20:26
In 1959, for my 15th birthday, I received a copy of "Day of Infamy" by Walter Lord. I loved this book and re-read it many times. It was a terrific account of the PH attack through the eyes of people who were there.

I visited the Arizona Memorial in 1967, and again in 1970 and 1999. I make a point of always going there on a visit. I always find it a satisfying experience.

On my last visit my wife was with me. (She has no interest whatsoever in the Navy). She said it was one of the most moving experiences of her life to stand over the Arizona and see the oil still coming up and think of all the people that died there on that day.

We were advised to visit early to beat the tour bus crowds and I took a photo from the Museum looking out at the memorial. When I returned to Oz and developed the film I was amazed to see that the time on this photo was 0755. The exact time of the attack!

I must get the books mentioned above and have a good read.


24-09-2009, 23:49

Great pictures of the Arizona! I from the book i have on the ship and the efforts to save the existing hull from rupturing and losing all of the bunker in the tanks. Is there an update on the those efforts? From the pictures and the movie of the hull examination it would appear the inside of the ship is maybe in better condition than the outside.

Have there been any discussions on the hull being encapsulated in one form or another?

Another thing that was a surprise was the deguassing cable a long the upper part of the hull near the main deck and the lack of knowledge on this, atleast that was the impression i got from the movie.

The explosion forward did wipe the forward end of the ship as far as the compartments from the armored deck to the main deck. Massive damage to say least!


Don Boyer
26-09-2009, 04:07
Over the years I've spent considerable time with the National Park Service's dive team that has monitored the Arizona for years, with some pretty sophisticated scientific gear including sensors for detecting hull movement and metal deterioration and the like. Basically, it is felt that there isn't anything that can be done to prevent a bunker fuel leak should a tank or bulkhead finally give way. No way to penetrate the ship and remove the 900 + tons of oil estimated to still be inside, especially with the hull sunk down into the harbor sand about 20 feet or better (the reason they can't determine if Arizona was hit forward by a torpedo, as many witnesses said, as well). The navy has pollution control gear and a response team at Pearl Harbor, so should something untoward happen, it shouldn't be an "environmental disaster."

The basic plan is to leave the ship alone and let her quietly deteriorate. It is not only the cheapest alternative, it is the best. Encapsulation would cost a fortune and not prevent any leakage. Plus the area around the ship has many bottom artifacts and undoubtedly loose ammunition lying about that should not be disturbed.

I've checked all my ship references, and none of the late photos of Arizona show evidence of a degaussing cable. A photo of Pennsylvania, her sister ship, in drydock in about 1943 does. Pearl Harbor shipyard would have been quite capable of installing such a fit and may well have done so before December 7th. (For example, it has been found out that the turret tops of the battleships were being painted in distinctive colors for aerial recognition just before the war. Arizona's were dull dark red. In black and white photos of course, red, blue and black are about indistinguishable.)

As to the extent of the damage caused by the forward magazine detonation, believe me, that has been the focus of many a cheerfully hot discussion. I see it this way. Not only did the explosion blow out the ship's sides and forward decking, it also cracked the armor belt in several places, an indication of the sheer power of the detonation of two full magazine areas. No. 1 turret is at least 13 (not 33 as I said in earlier post) feet lower than it should be. Since it is still sitting on its barbette, this means the bottom is blown out as well. Everybody agrees on these points pretty much.

If you have seen the short movie clip of the Arizona's explosion (often shown reversed because the film clip was accidentally turned around when cut into the newsreel -- if the explosion goes off screen to the left, it's reversed) you'll note the huge burst of smoke from the stacks. This, to me, was caused by the bulkheads between turret two and the forward boiler room being blown out backwards into the boilers, crushing them. There are those who disagree with this, but then they can't explain why the forepart of the ship collapsed forward. "Melting" in the fires certainly didn't cause that. I believe with all the underdecking and bulkheads blown out, the heavy armored conning tower collapsed into the hole, dragging all else with it, meaning the bridge and foremast. There is massive deck damage visible on the ship all the way back to the forward stack to support my claim. Also, divers doing early salvage could not get into any area even close to the forward boilers, although the conning tower and the rest was cut off and removed.

An explosion that massive is of course not much different than those like Barham and Yamato that we've seen at sea. Here, though, the detonation was amplified by the sea bottom just under the ship.

For those of you interested in more about the ship, Paul Stillwell's "Battleship Arizona: An Illustrated History" is the definitive study (US Naval Institute Press, Annapolis Maryland, 1991). Norman Friedman's "US Battleships: A Design History" is the best book on technical details and design for all US battleships (also USNI Press, 1985). "USS Arizona Ship's Data: A Photographic History" (Arizona Memorial Museum Association, 1978) is also a good book with unfortunately poor photographs...many are "faded" due to poor printing technique. The book I believe is out of print, but may be available from the museum online.

Hope this answers some of the questions. Look forward to corresponding with you all here on the forum.

25-10-2009, 21:13

Has there been effort in determining the orginal of the double lines of something that run the along the gunwhale as show in the movie of the hull of the Arizona on the site?

Nice work on describing in detail on the damage to the Arizona.


Don Boyer
29-10-2009, 04:03
Charles -- missed seeing your post of the 25th. Thanks for the compliment.

While I was working at the Arizona Memorial I had the opportunity to see a digitized version of the explosion of the Arizona, almost frame by frame. To me, it had some startling revelations as to the power of the explosion, but some of the "experts" there didn't really agree. To be expected, nothing insulting, just a different viewpoint.

It's the same movie they analyze to death in the TV special that came out around the 60th anniversary. I think it is available on DVD now. Somebody also dug up more of the original film, in which the bombing aircraft can be seen. The film was taken by a doctor aboard the hospital ship Solace to the north and west of the Arizona. Probably some of the most dramatic footage ever taken, somewhat spoiled by the fact that it has been shown in reverse ("flipped") for so many years.

I have looked at some of the photos I have, and can't quit picture what you are referring to with "the orginal of the double lines of something that run the along the gunwhale as show in the movie of the hull of the Arizona on the site?" Ol' cousin Weak Eyes here wears bifocals. so maybe I'm missing something in a photograph. Got any pictures or a better description? Since the movie of the Arizona is taken from the same side of the ship as the mooring quays, there are lines and such all over the place.

I'll do some more looking around when I move my model table out from in front of my bookcase..in my small room, it's blocking the shelf with all my Pearl Harbor volumes. Wouldn't you know it? :)


29-10-2009, 22:52

I would agree with your comments on the explosion forward on the ship. I think i have seen that footage somewhere myself, tho you can barley make out the aircraft who are flying in a V formation.

As for the torpedo conclusion i was always under the impression that question was answered after the survey on the ships hull.. Of the combat photo's i have seen of the attack from the Japanese point of view there is no tracks leading to the Arizona...maybe I'm wrong?

As for the twin something (cables?) running along the gunwhale i saw those on the video on the Arizona's web-site. They could very well be something else.


30-10-2009, 11:14
Basically, it is felt that there isn't anything that can be done to prevent a bunker fuel leak should a tank or bulkhead finally give way. No way to penetrate the ship and remove the 900 + tons of oil estimated to still be inside, especially with the hull sunk down into the harbor sand about 20 feet or better (the reason they can't determine if Arizona was hit forward by a torpedo, as many witnesses said, as well). The navy has pollution control gear and a response team at Pearl Harbor, so should something untoward happen, it shouldn't be an "environmental disaster."

I had heard that the position of the parks service was that they would not attempt to remove the fuel oil while any of survivors of Pearl Harbour were still alive, but would then attempt to remove the oil, just wondering if u had heard anything like that?
Also the RN has managed to drain a number of the tanks of HMS Royal Oak, whilst its a different situation since Royal Oak is inverted they will have to access interior tanks which cannot be accessed directly from the Hull, do you think that they would consider something similar to the Arizona?

Don Boyer
31-10-2009, 16:50
Wow! I had not visited this thread for a bit due to press of business and a trip to the doctor to get my knees working right. Hopefully I have some information for all the posts that have followed my last. At least you won’t be getting any “weak kneed” responses!


You’re right as to being able to see the bombing aircraft. The original film is in possession of the National Park Service in the huge photo collection they curate for the navy from the 14th Naval District. It is in full color, and more on that below.

I have seen those Japanese photos as well, and there are no shock waves and/or torpedo tracks that obviously emanate from the forward end of Arizona. You can easily trace the ones for California, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Nevada, but nothing in Arizona’s way. What I think is that witnesses saw one of the heavy bombs that landed between Arizona and poor Vestal tied up alongside. The close bottom and presence of the two steel hulls would have “squeezed” the bomb blast into something similar to a torpedo detonation – they are distinctly different kinds of explosions. For example, compare the photo of the torpedo detonation on Shoho at Coral Sea with the near misses from bombs on Illustrious in the Med. Very differently shaped blast clouds. (And for you sharp-eyed Pearl Harbor buffs, note in the photos that Vestal is the only vessel moored port side to on Battleship Row, i.e., pointing in the opposite direction of all the other ships. She is often shown wrongly on the Pearl Harbor maps because they are all based on Samuel Eliot Morison’s work which has the Vestal pointing in the wrong direction. That map also left off the ex-Baltimore moored where Allen and Chew are shown.

I’m still looking into that double cable thing on the Arizona. I know that Pearl Harbor did have a degaussing station put in West Loch, but I think it was post-December 7th. I do know Pearl Harbor shipyard was quite capable of installing degaussing cables, but whether they did as part of ship upgrades I don’t know. (Remember, degaussing was relatively new tech in response to those nasty German magnetic mines that the British were lucky enough to nab some of relatively early on in WW II.) Of course, if you install degaussing cables, you need a station to test it, so that’s all up in the air with me yet. I need to look at photos and haven’t done it yet, unless someone can make a post.


Your statement as to the Park’s position on the oil removal sounds right to me, although since I don’t work there any more (they don’t pay well for someone with my experience) I only see my old friends once in awhile for beers and discussions of relevant issues such as the scantily-clad girls on the beach and whether USC and the Steelers will win this weekend.

However, the Park Service is not the deciding vote on the issue. The US Navy “owns” the USS Arizona and is the final arbiter of any “touching” of the vessel for any reason. Although stricken from the Register of Naval Vessels, the Arizona flies the flag still and is therefore de facto a commissioned vessel. Thus there will never be another USS Arizona in the navy. (The flagpole at the Arizona Memorial is attached to the forward leg of the aftermast of the Arizona, not to the Memorial structure itself.)

(Probably a good place to state this here: The National Park Service, part of the Department of the Interior, manages the Arizona Memorial and it’s building complexes for the navy under a Memorandum of Agreement developed back in the early 80s. The Park Service manages ALL of America’s Parks and National Monuments and is consistently underfunded and undermanned, yet does a pretty good job overall. They rely heavily on volunteers and “summer temps” and offer great jobs for the younger set and veterans.)

Any penetration of the hull of the Arizona for removal of the oil remaining on board would be a joint decision of the Navy, Park Service, survivor’s associations and the state of Hawaii. It doesn’t seem too likely because of the enormous expense involved and the potential to cause more harm than good. Arizona is deeply bottomed in mud and undoubtedly her keel is broken. Accessing valid tanks would be nearly impossible. No one has any clear idea at all which tanks have oil and which don’t. And remember, this is the old NSFO –Navy Special Fuel Oil – which has a consistency just short of asphalt. It had to be heated to be pumped, remember. Estimates are that there are about 900 tons of oil remaining, of which a few quarts a day leak out from several areas. No new leakages have been detected. Obviously, as the Arizona deteriorates, something will collapse or break and more oil may leak, but it could hardly constitute an environmental disaster as the navy is well prepared with oil capture and clean up equipment at Pearl, and the Arizona is part of their practice scenarios all the time. (Of course, should such and incident occur, the tree-hugging fringe whiner set will be outside the gates with signs in a day. Fortunately, military policy allows protesters only outside the gates of military establishments, where they won’t be accidentally injured by the knowledgeable.)


As to the film reversal. As I mentioned above, the film of the Arizona exploding was taken from the USS Solace by a visiting doctor. The film is in Kodak color, expensive at the time, but a doctor could certainly afford it...lol. Solace was to the north and a bit west of the Arizona, with only the hulk of the ex-Baltimore in between. When a cut of the film was made for the newsreel, it was unintentionally reversed (‘flipped”) when spliced into the newsreel footage, and since the newsreel was one of those Pathe black and white newsreels, the explosion was for many years seen “flipped” and in black and white. Since there were no hull numbers or words visible that would alert someone to the reversal, it was overlooked. I noted this back in the 80s because of the pipeline visible in the film between Arizona and the photographer (Pearl Harbor was my after-school playground when I was in school, so I was familiar with the turf. That pipeline could only be visible if the film had been taken from Solace (or some ship west of Arizona) not from the shoreline to the east of Arizona as was normally assumed. The key when seeing the film of the Arizona explosion is that the correct view has the explosion forward on the ship going up, out and to the right, not the left.

Even the Park Service had to go in and make a revision to their film shown at the Memorial movie theater to correct that error after it had been pointed out by me and others. (Thankfully, the Arizona Memorial is blessed with the presence of one of their very best historians and a true Pearl Harbor expert, Daniel Martinez, who is seen on TV specials all the time. A great soldier for history and a good man to work with.)

I think this catches us up on the issues you’ve all raised. Look forward to more Pearl Harbor “stuff.”

31-10-2009, 18:29

I find your post interesting to say to least. Very well put!

As for the option of pumping or removing the bunker from the tanks, i too have heard the same about the last survivors pasting before any action taken was to be decided, moreover the concern for the ship if the tanks were to be pumped out and the effect's on the hull and possible bouyance that may accurr with such an undertaking. I was under the impression the US Navy had the builders and mid-life prints for the ship in the National Archives. Now having said that, the last video I saw with a remotely control submersable that did a partial entry found the interrior of the ship filled with silt. The explantion was the current that runs through the harbor would account for the build up, also noted was the interior was not corroding as fast as the exterior of the ship which would make sense.

As for the photo's shown the public does have access to those photo's through hazegray.org, navsource.org which has a special section for the Attack and the ships in port at the time of the attack.


31-10-2009, 21:09
We cant drop roses on to Arizona, just to say good-bye to her, can we? we cant reach down and touch her can we?

Don Boyer
31-10-2009, 21:52
You can drop flowers, but cannot touch the ship in any way. Only Arizona survivors who return for burial can "touch" the ship, along with the navy and Park Service divers who monitor the ships condition and the various film crews that have been granted access, and all divers are under severe restrictions as to what they can and can't do. They can for example, pick up a coin someone drops over the side (or cameras, glasses, radios, cell phones, a pack of condoms [once] a wallet, purse, etc., and everything else that is cleaned off monthly) but they cannot pick up and artifact such as a spoon or cup without approved reasons.

The closest you can come is to touch the flagpole, which is attached to the ship, not the Memorial.

We cant drop roses on to Arizona, just to say good-bye to her, can we? we cant reach down and touch her can we?

John Odom
06-12-2009, 19:24
Tomorrow is Pearl Harbor day. The 68th anniversary of the "Day of Infamy." Let us each take time to remember the men and women whose lives were lost that day. I feel so fortunate to have known some of the survivors from the USS Oklahoma. Let us pray that we will never again be caught sleeping.

06-12-2009, 20:35
I agree, 68- years, that just scary.. it its sad Mighty Moe, not protecting Arizona. this is off wiki: Originally, the decision to move Missouri to Pearl Harbor was met with some resistance. Many people feared that the battleship, whose name has become synonymous with the end of World War II, would overshadow battleship Arizona, whose dramatic explosion and subsequent sinking on 7 December 1941 has since become synonymous with the attack on Pearl Harbor. But to help guard against this perception Missouri was placed well back from and facing the Arizona Memorial, so that those participating in military ceremonies on Missouri's aft decks would not have sight of the Arizona Memorial. But The decision to have Missouri's bow face the Arizona Memorial was intended to convey that Mighty Moe is now watches over the remains of Arizona so that those interred within Arizona's hull may rest in peace, and she protected in a sence! so let me know what you guys think ok...

06-12-2009, 20:54
Cheers for bumping the thread John, unfortunately we are fast approaching the time when there will be no living memory of the events of Pearl Harbour, much like with WW1 (i think there are only 3 surviving vets from WW1 now?)

I was wondering just the other day actually, will we ever see another USS Arizona? (or Oklahoma for that matter) evey other ship at Pearl Harbour has had another vessel named for the state since (mostly SSBN's), i can only assume this has been a concious decision not to re-use the names out of respect for those who died in the Dec 7th attacks?

There are calls to name CVN-80 Arizona, (and Enterprise and any number of other names im sure)

The case with the Oklahoma would be a little different from the Arizona since the Arizona memorial is still often refereed too as the USS Arizona, despite the ship no-longer being in commission and unfortunately in the general public conscious most people presumably arent aware of the Oklahoma (certainly to the extent of the Arizona)

anyway im rambling a bit so let me just afford a moments silence to all who died, and let us also remember HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse which were sunk 3 days later.

Don Boyer
06-12-2009, 21:25
So far, barring idiots in Congress doing something entirely typical, the navy has refused to allow any ship to be named Arizona. This is primarily because the Arizona in Pearl Harbor, although stricken from the Naval Register, still flies the American flag (the flagpole at the Arizona memorial, as I mentioned to Nikki and others, is attached to the foreleg of the Arizona's mainmast, not to the Memorial structure itself, which is built over the Arizona but does not touch it).

Flying the flag is, in a sense, still being in commission, and the navy would like to keep it that way. I have not even heard any strong movement in the State of Arizona for a new ship named Arizona, and one of Arizona's senators is the powerful John McCain, former naval Captain and descendant of two four star admirals of the same name. I think the feeling within the state is that the name Arizona associated with Pearl Harbor carries far more historical prestige and honor, if you will, than a new submarine would.

There are many fewer Arizona survivors now, of course..in 2001 when I worked at the Arizona memorial there were around 220 if I remember correctly. Probably nearer 100 now. When the last survivor has passed, there then may be a movement for a new Arizona, but even then I doubt it will happen. Arizona is far too symbolic -- like HMS Hood -- of a nation in peril, yet ultimately victorious, to have her lose her name to another vessel.

I seriously doubt if any Englishman wants to see a new HMS Hood and it is much the same with Arizona.

I have heard, but have seen nothing confirmatory in writing, that the new Virginia class nuclear submarines will eventually include the names of all Pearl Harbor batttle ships except Arizona.

The attached photo shows the flagpole at the Memorial.
Regards, all

Don Boyer
06-12-2009, 21:46
Thanks, John, for the December 7, post. You beat me too it, not that it matters.

For remembering those who have perished at Pearl Harbor, here are some photographs I've taken over the years at various commemorative events at the Memorial.

The first photo shows the Arizona as she looks today on the bottom..this model was made after the first underwater surveys of the ship were made by the National Parks Service in the early 1980s. The second photo shows the USS Missouri and the USS Arizona Memorial as seen from the shoreside facilities. The next two photos show the Remembrance Wall with the names of Arizona's 1177 dead. The smaller list shows those who have joined their shipmates aboard Arizona since 1941. The last photo shows the ring of remembrance next to the Memorial Museum that lists all the other military casualties incurred on December 7, 1941, and also 29 civilians. Each plaque represents a location where casualties occurred.

06-12-2009, 21:48
Did any of you see this: Its Just sad Mighty Moe, not there protecting Arizona. this is off wiki: Originally, the decision to move Missouri to Pearl Harbor was met with some resistance. Many people feared that the battleship, whose name has become synonymous with the end of World War II, would overshadow battleship Arizona, whose dramatic explosion and subsequent sinking on 7 December 1941 has since become synonymous with the attack on Pearl Harbor. But to help guard against this perception Missouri was placed well back from and facing the Arizona Memorial, so that those participating in military ceremonies on Missouri's aft decks would not have sight of the Arizona Memorial. But The decision to have Missouri's bow face the Arizona Memorial was intended to convey that Mighty Moe is now watches over the remains of Arizona so that those interred within Arizona's hull may rest in peace, and she protected in a sence! so let me know what you guys think ok...

06-12-2009, 22:28
Hey Don, thanks for your reply, I didnt realize the Flag was actually on the Arizona herself

Personally i wouldnt want to see another Arizona because i feel it would detract from the memorial and pretty much confuse people, however personally i wouldn't be opposed to the RN naming another Ship Hood, so long as it was a vessel befitting of the name, one of the New Carriers or the Vanguard replacements, unfortunately i very much doubt if i went out in the street and asked 100 people if they knew what HMS Hood was id be lucky if 1 could answer.
There is no permanent national memorial to the Hood, and personally i think having the name continue one would be the best memorial to the ship and the crew, but that my personal opinion, many many ships suffered casualties in the war, and if we didn't reuse the names we risk loosing the proud heritage of the vessels and thier history, and we're forced to name ships after politicians, and god help us all if we ever see HMS Gordon Brown :eek:
Also, i dunno if its the same for US ships, but with RN ships Battle honors are carried on by ships of the same name much like a regiment carries all the honours throughout its life (so HMS Rodney for example her Battle Honors go from Quebec 1759 through to Arctic 1944)

Nikki: I think id rather the Missouri went into drydock and got the leaks fixed and be able to look over the Arizona for many more years to come, than have her join the Arizona on the bottom of the Harbour ;)

07-12-2009, 01:39
Excellent pics Don as usual. I was wondering though what is the thing that looks like a boat crane beside the Arizona? It just seems kind of odd that with all the salvage work they did on her they wouldn't pick that up?
For the record I think that Pearl Harbor is the best place for the Missouri. With the Arizona they are like bookends to the Pacific War.
And another opinion... Aircraft carriers should continue the old names, Enterprise, Yorktown, Saratoga, etc. Sick of the politician theme.
I know that now Pearl Harbor Day is not as widely known as it should be. When i say it is Pearl Harbor day, the usual response is "huh?" Makes me somewhat sick.

John Odom
07-12-2009, 01:50
All the students who came through my Chemistry classes learned about Pearl Harbor, and a lot of other history they were not taught in History class.

Don Boyer
08-12-2009, 01:03
Couple of minor corrections to previous posts: #57 --the Virginia class submarines will include the names of the battleships from Pear Harbor that haven't already been used -- the Ohio class has already used some of these names. And yes, I can spell "battle"....

#58 -- There were 49 civilians killed, not twenty nine, including women and children.

steve roberts
28-12-2009, 18:37
Hi Guys.Getting back to the re-use of names of ships.No "Limey" would tolorate anothe HMS Hood.There for I believe there should never be another USS ArizonaIs she not still considered to be technically in commission,even though she is stricken from the navy lists?One little tale that will please you guys is that in 1973,my submarine paid a short visit to PH to land an ill crew member.Honours were paid on passing Arizona as is allways done.One member of our crew was heard to mutter "Why are we saluting a wreck,and is it true you can do a tour round here in a glass bottomed boat." I have the honour to report he recieved a broken jaw and recieved very very little first aid or pain relief from me before he too was landed. Regards to All. Steve Roberts

28-12-2009, 19:00
He should have been dragged into the Arizona memorial and shown the wall of names of sailors who died their and then reminded that he too is a sailor and part of a brotherhood.

I'm glad he suffered pain - but that doesn't compare to the burned and broken men pulled from the water during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Sadly, there is more and more disrespect for the tragedies of the past as more and more me-ism takes over. Sounds like your crew member joined the navy just to pull in a paycheck and not to really appreciate the sacrifices made so he could enjoy his 'freedoms'. What a jerk.

steve roberts
28-12-2009, 19:13
Hi Corrine.Beg to report that this particular "Jerk" never rejoined my sub.He soon left submarine service altogether and was soon after discharged from the RN as unsuitable for service.It makes me wonder if the story of what he had said got around???? lol Steve

Don Boyer
28-12-2009, 21:32
I have heard so many similar comments as a Public Affairs officer at the Arizona Memorial from Joe average citizen, Jon average European and Yon-san from Japan. All come from lack of education/information more than any mind-set against the Memorial or what it represents. A lot have no idea because they've never been exposed to the information. Thus the National Park Service's mentorship of the Memorial is SO important these days. Fortunately, the Memorial is blessed with a highly competent historian and staff.

I can remember many an on-duty hour on the Memorial itself, and the laughing and joking about on the part of some touring the site who have no real idea. I've noticed that once they enter the room with 1177 names on the wall, many times they suddenly get the point. Not all, but many.


Don Boyer
28-12-2009, 21:44
After looking over my Post 81 above, I got to thinking back to 2001, the 60th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. I was accompanying special tour groups to the Memorial that day, ensuring we had all the help needed out on the Memorial to ensure we could handle special cases such as the wheelchair bound elderly. (The new ramp had not yet been installed.)

Being busy, I wasn't really paying too much attention to the general background until I heard some gentleman with a huge bass voice just laughing to beat the band. You don't expect that in such a place, bu there it was, and I noticed everybody just about joining in the jolly conversation; there was laughter and joking and smiling, and camera antics everywhere. And then it hit me.

These were all living veterans of the USS Arizona, every one, with their family members. It would be the last time many would ever see the Arizona or the Memorial or each other again. They COULD laugh and joke about, among more serious moments. They had earned the right; in fact, it was probably a wonderful thing that they could laugh and joke about amongst themselves still. I don't think for a moment that this special group was being disrespectful in the least.

All a matter of perspective I guess.


30-12-2009, 22:45

I can easily understand how it upsets you when you perceive that others have no perception of the importance of something like USS Arizona. It must be awful for you.

On a recent episode of the UK university quiz show University Challenge, a contestant from one of the Oxbridge colleges was surprised to learn that there had been two world wars.

If I was you I'd buy a pair of ear muffs and refuse to listen to them, and when they ask you for directions around the site, send them on the longest, hardest and everything elsest route out that you can think of. It won't change their view of things, but you'll feel better.

Glad to hear that the actual survivors haven't lost their senses of humour. Did you record it?

All the best for 2010


31-12-2009, 01:52
One day...one day I'm going to make to Pearl Harbor to render what little honors that I am able to that old girl and the 1177 men who still walk her decks.

Don Boyer
31-12-2009, 04:22
JD: I no longer work directly at the Memorial. Actually, we were trained to ignore these kinds of things and talk around them. No sense getting angry, as it never helps educate. Ignorance is its own worst enemy, and the unknowing and uncaring usually get theirs in the end. We would generally remind people that they were visiting a tomb, not a museum.

BB60: I hope you do, and I would enjoy being their with you. Should you get the chance, let me know.

Regards and Happy New Year.

06-01-2010, 15:47

Re post #81 I can't speak for any other 'Jon European' but I for one found the Arizona memorial at Pearl quite moving, as I do the Maddingley cemetery in Cambridge and the tomb of the unknown warrior in Westminster Abbey.

I expect I am quite British in my emotions (or usual public lack thereof) but I must say my bottom lip certainly quivered as I read the brass plate of names with the slick of oil off to my side.

Oh an lovely part of the world you get to live in. You lucky fella!

Gypsyvannergirl, John and Steve,

I agree the film for the most part was dreadful, about two-thirds too long, an abismal story element and just awful acting. If they had concentrated on just a recreation of the action (may be in '24' style) rather than shoehorning in a stupid romance plot (which was nauseating to the extreme - and who wants to see Ben Affleck and Kate Beckinsale misbehave in a parachute shed) it could have been a much better film.

Don Boyer
17-01-2010, 17:16
As many of you know, the USS Arizona Memorial Museum and other buildings are being replaced by new structures in a huge construction project funded by the Arizona Memorial Foundation, of which I am a charter member. On my recent "whirlwind tour" of Ford Island and Pearl Harbor, I was able to stick my camera through the black dust fencing and get some shots of the new buildings going up.

I believe these new facilities will make the Arizona Memorial the premier memorial site it was originally intended to be before visitor numbers began to overwhelm the facilities and also before the current facilities began to sink rapidly into the harbor, being built on landfill. For one thing, I understand that their will be sufficient restroom facilities for the ladies, a major gripe concerning the older facilities!


John Odom
17-01-2010, 17:59
When is the projected opening?

Don Boyer
18-01-2010, 08:32
Late summer this year, I thought. Quick scan of the Memorial Fund site doesn't say...mmmm...I'll find out!

Don Boyer
12-06-2010, 05:38
A little Pearl Harbor update. As some may know, the National Park Service and many contributing organizations have spent millions renovating the USS Arizona Memorial Complex. Most of the major buildings are finished and open to the public. Work continues on renovating the two theaters and the two buildings that will house the greatly expanded museum collection of Pearl Harbor artifacts.

There have been some changes in nomenclature that you might want to be aware of if searching online for information. The Arizona Memorial Museum Association has been renamed "Pacific Memorial Parks" and supports not only the Arizona Memorial but also wartime monuments/areas on Guam and Saipan as well as the former leper colony on Molokai (why that place, I have no idea, it has absolutely no connection to the other sites).

The USS Arizona Memorial itself was re-named by some PC idiot "The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument." In my mind, you just could not come up with something stupider sounding. The intent, of course, is to now encompass all of World War II in the Pacific into the museum's repertoire, instead of just Pearl Harbor to Midway, which was the previous rather thin venue. Glad I don't work at the Memorial now, as I would probably have been fired for commenting on the stupidity inherent in a title like that when the previous one summed it up perfectly. Frankly, I consider it an insult to those 1177 names on the Wall of Remembrance on the Memorial itself.

I have no idea what the members of the USS Arizona Survivor's Association think of this, I haven't asked, but it's probably along the line of the thoughts I had. There was no reason to bury the name of the USS Arizona under that drivel of a title, but there you go. I'm old and conservative, I guess.

When I have the time (i.e, there's nothing to do on the beach and the bikini-clad lasses are elsewhere) I plan to spend some time photographing the new layout of the Memorial grounds and buildings for posting here. May be a few weeks, but I'll get it done.

Regards, all

12-06-2010, 11:02
"The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument."

They couldn't come up with anything longer? That's the longest name I have ever seen for a monument!
I guess nothing is sacred...

Don Boyer
12-06-2010, 17:08

The name is absurdly long. That's why you can tell someone in "management" was straining at gnats to come up with something PC for us all. That and the fact that it buries the name USS Arizona, lynchpin of the "Remember Pearl Harbor" lesson, completely under a broad brush approach that is supposed to deal with the entire war (because of the associated monuments on Guam and elsewhere). Dilution and diffusion, exactly the one thing that should never have been done to a Memorial to those 1177 men. They might as well start thinking about striking up a partnership with Yasukuni Jinja in Japan.

Frankly, I am embarrassed and ashamed of the National Park Service for bowing to whoever came up with that idea, and I used to work for them.

And including the former leper colony on the island of Molokai in their grouping of monuments?? Absurd on the face of it. No connection whatsoever to World War II in the Pacific. The Kalaupapa peninsula on Molokai was a forced leper colony famous because of the work of Father Damien there to make it something other than a sewer for lepers. He contracted leprosy himself and died there. He was recently made a Saint by the Catholic Church.

I truly believe the National Park Service has lost its way and are considering many of the monuments under their care as "chunks of property" without due regard for the original mission under which those "chunks" were established. Hard to tell what prompted the new scenario at Pearl Harbor. I do plan to ask some of the Park Rangers how that came about. (Can't ask management, they'd blow you off.)

Seems you read a lot these days as to how many of our ship monuments have become "too expensive" to maintain and do not have the public support they once had that can generate that private and corporate revenue so necessary to maintaining a ship safe and attractive for visitation. The World War II vets, backbone of ship preservation efforts since WWII, are rapidly leaving us, and these generations coming up the pike have no clue historically (generally speaking) because our educational system is geared to lowest common denominator results apparently (generally speaking).

At least the USS Arizona cannot become a victim of that trend. The memorial buildings on shore fell apart, but the ship itself is expected to do so and requires no preservation other than being prepared if that bunker oil ever decides to release in quantity.

steve roberts
13-06-2010, 10:36
Hi Gang.Both myself and Sue are absolutely amazed and horrified at this PC gone mad!!:mad:
She will always be the USS ARIZONA and no amount of political name changing will ever alter that fact!:(
Many Regards Sue and Steve.

13-06-2010, 11:37
Whoever came up with that, he wants a good kick in the backside. It is a slur to the 1,000 plus men who perished in her.


Don Boyer
20-06-2010, 00:31
Regarding the other topic here -- the new names for everything out here in the Pacific, I received the attached letter from a rep of the Pacific Historic Parks (formerly the Arizona Memorial Museum Association).

The first part deals with a transposition error in their letter I pointed out just to make their PR people blush and force a response, and the rest deals with the new nomenclature I mentioned in an earlier post. I will let my fellow forum members judge for themselves, but I for one am glad it was all intended to elevate the status of the Memorial (it's hard to elevate the No. 1 wartime attraction in the Pacific, but apparently they can do it.) I guess elevating the status means that the USS Arizona name now shows up in small print on the logo at lower left of the letter.


Don Boyer
27-06-2010, 05:48
Portions of the new Arizona Memorial Complex are open now, although construction continues on some major sections like the two museum buildings and the renovation of the two theaters. I was at the Memorial today for the first time since the new sections have opened, and I was impressed both with the design of the buildings, which allows the trade winds to cool things down without blowing too hard and with the overall open air design which now links the Arizona Memorial directly with the Bowfin submarine museum right next door. This is particularly good for the Bowfin as it attracts even more business.

The Memorial complex now has a centralized entrance area where you can purchase tickets for the Bowfin, the Missouri and the Pacific Air Museum and get your (always free) tickets for the Arizona Memorial movie and boat ride to the actual memorial next to Ford Island.

The new museum is scheduled to have it's grand opening on December 7th of this year a gala event no doubt. As a founding member of the association that raised the almost $40 million needed for this refurbishing of the Memorial, I can't wait! The money was well spent. For you women who have visited the old Memorial, there are PLENTY of Ladies rooms -- no more long lines! The snack bar is still a small outfit, but much better organized and the new bookstore is beautiful and very smartly done.

I hope my friends will someday be able to "take that Hawaiian vacation" everyone is on about, and come see this wonderful new Visitor's Center. The center will now be far better suited to the large number of visitors that come there -- over 1 million a year now! Vistis to the Memorial itself are still restricted by the capacity of the Navy's boats to carry visitors over and back, so if you go later in the day, you will not have the chance to actually visit the memorial -- all of the tickets will be gone by then. There are supposed to be new boats someday, but the navy, as usual, drags its heels at spending money related to the Memorial until forced at gunpoint apparently.

Some photos attached of the new buildings. I will be posting other photos related to the attack on Pearl on other relevant threads later, including the complete list of all casualties other than those on the Arizona and a bronze casting map of the island with the important points related to the attack laid out -- part of the "Remembrance Circle."

The first photo shows the new entranceway.

The second photo is the new ticketing booths, divided between the Arizona Memorial and the other attractions.

The third photo shows the new National Park Service offices on the second floor. The snack bar is below it as well as plenty of restrooms!

The fourth photo is one of the open areas between buildings, with the Admiral Bernard A. Clarey bridge to Ford Island in the background.

Don Boyer
27-06-2010, 06:04
Continuing on with the buildings and grounds of the new Arizona Memorial Complex:

First photo here is the new entrance sign.

Next is the walkway leading directly to the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum, with it's dummy A-1 and A-3 Polaris missiles.

The third photo shows the new walkway that follows the edge of the water and has various signs highlighting the events of December 7th and the features of the harbor itself. The walkway leads to the new boat landing where you catch a ride to the Memorial itself.

Photo four is a view of the Memorial and the newly painted USS Missouri from the shoreside walkway.

Don Boyer
27-06-2010, 06:20
More of the Arizona Memorial. (I took over 100 photos today!) Sorry for posting in groups of four. Seems if I try to do more, the system ends up hating me and won't load them all. I will try for more here this time and see what happens.. :)

First up is a photo of the Arizona's anchor, freshly redone in the wrong color of gray for 1941, but nice nonetheless.

The second photo is a view of the temporary arrangements made to show the Arizona Memorial movie of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a very well done piece of work. This will run here continuously until the two theaters are renovated.

Photo three looks back from the shoreside walkway toward the USS Bowfin anchored at the edge of the harbor. The plaques surrounding the anchor list the survivors of the attack on the USS Arizona.

The fourth photo is a shot of the new bookstore. Now fully stocked with everything and anything related to Pearl Harbor!

Photo five is the globe painted on the deck near the entrance to the ticket booths.

Photo six shows the Remembrance Circle, whose plaques list all the non-Arizona casualties of the attack on Pearl Harbor including civilians. I plan to post all the plaques in the Pearl Harbor thread later on.

Dave Hutson
27-06-2010, 07:17
Thanks Don for a very informative update on the Arizona memorial. It seems they have done a good job - Will it still be known as the "Arizona" memorial as IMHO to name it anything else would be wrong.

I particularly like the shot showing the original memorial with "Big Mo" astern and with you permission I would like to download that one.

Weather report follows - Here in Plymouth today the climate and temperature is akin to the North Shore on Oahu on a calm day - sadly not much surf on the Newquay Fiscal Beach.

Regards to you and yours Don - not fogetting the cat.

Dave H

Don Boyer
27-06-2010, 07:19
The last batch of photos for this thread! I'm amazed I got away with six earlier. Astraltrader must have gestured hypnotically...

First shot is a view of the open courtyard between the new buildings.

Second photo is from the back courtyard looking toward the Bowfin Museum.

Photo three shows the new landscaping along the harbor's edge.

Photo four is from the Bowfin museum...the Memorial and the Missouri under the wing of a Regulus I missile.

Number five is another Bowfin picture showing the submarine behind the monuments to the submarines lost in WWII.

Photo six is today's visitor at the fueling pier next to the Memorial complex -- USS Bonhomme Richard, LHD-6.

Don Boyer
27-06-2010, 07:39
From my tour of the new Arizona Memorial Complex today, here are some interesting pictures of the bronze sculpture of the island of Oahu showing the important points involved in the attack of December 7th, 1941. The vertical dimension is exaggerated, of course, but it is a faithful representation of the island's structure and dimensions.

The first photograph shows the north and west side of the island. The number two shows the location of the Opana radar station that picked up the incoming Japanese aircraft. The number three is the location of the Haleiwa airfield where LTs Welch and Taylor took off in P-40s to intercept the Japanese planes. Pearl Harbor is at the opposite end of that long valley at the south end of Oahu.

My house, by the way, is located just to the right of the number three, about in the middle of the small bay there. :)

The second photo shows the opposite view with Pearl Harbor in the foreground. The mountains on the left are the Waianae's and on the right the Koolau's. The central valley between Pearl and the North Shore used to be almost exclusively sugar cane and pineapple.

The third photo from the northwest shows what the Japanese attack force would have seen on their approach before turning east and breaking up into the attack formations.

These photos are just a bit distorted by the rainwater on the sculpture and surrounding "water."

This sculpted "map" is the centerpiece of the Rememberance Circle where the plaques listing all casualties of December 7th other than those on the Arizona are listed. their are 2,390 names between the two lists, one here, on on the wall of the Memorial.

Don Boyer
27-06-2010, 16:49
Here are some posts I promised a friend.

Some may not be aware that the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor not only honors the 1177 men killed aboard Arizona on December 7th, 1941 but all casualties of that attack. The Remembrance Circle on the grounds has plaques listing all the non-Arizona casualties, including civilians, by name, rank and unit location. Those whose names appear in gold print are those awarded the Medal of Honor. The last living Pearl Harbor Medal of Honor winner, Mr. John Finn, passed away on May 27th of this year, two months shy of his 101st birthday.

The plaques lists a total of 2,390 casualties resulting from the attack on Pearl Harbor, but I believe additions have been made due to further research and the number is 2,403 now. I will have to check on that.

Here are those plaques. Hopefully posting luck continues and I can get them all in a few posts. :D

Don Boyer
27-06-2010, 16:55
The second group of plaques -- once again, I was initially limited to only four or so attachments for reasons known only to electrons moving at light speed, but was able to add in.

Don Boyer
27-06-2010, 17:08
To complete the listings of personnel at the Arizona Memorial's new complex, the following plaques list the crewmen of the USS Arizona who survived the explosion and destruction of their ship on December 7th. Most were on board Arizona at the time, others were on shore leave or shore assignments.

These plaques are located behind the USS Arizona's anchor on the harbor side of the historical walkway.

Because of their age and the expense involved, the Arizona survivor's association and the larger Pearl Harbor survivor's association have discontinued having their December 7th reunions at Pearl Harbor.

27-06-2010, 17:14
A poignant memorial to those who lost their lives in that cowardly attack, in the end those responsible paid for their treachery. Thanks for posting these images.

27-06-2010, 17:32
During my brief walk-in "visit" by 1010 dock in 68 (on my way home to CONUS from Nam), I didn't have time to see the Arizona Memorial: thanks for all the pics Don. DFO :)

Dave Hutson
27-06-2010, 19:45
My thanks Don for keeping us all up to date with the changes and progress on the Memorial. I spent a long time in the Army Museum Waikiki and the developers were making their overtures then, I believe the hotel was a R&R Centre at that time and the local scuttlebutt [sorry grapevine, sorry again, opinion] was that noone was going to develop that area of historical value. It belonged to the people of Hawaii and should/would remain so.

Like when they were going to sink to Matson line clipper [built on the Clyde][forget her name but she was the first sail ship to be an oiltanker carrying oil from the mainland to the Islands] and the proposal was to sink her as a diving attraction - scuppered by the people of Hawaii by a dollar a person donation. Sorry Don another question - has her refurbishment been completed.

Dave H

Don Boyer
27-06-2010, 20:05
Dave: The ship is the Falls of Clyde, and I have to blush slightly and admit I have not followed her progress at all.:o As a "mere" merchant vessel, I don't keep up with those types of ships except peripherally as they may have some bearing on the war in the Pacific. Hard enough keeping track of the warships, which are my main interest. Plus she is in Honolulu and not part of the Pearl Harbor mix.

However, here is the latest I found from the "Friends of the Falls of Clyde" website:

"The hearing on the transfer of funds to FoFOC for the maintenance of the ship was delayed until 29 April. The hearing did take place and the judge made swift work of approving the petition for transfer from Bishop Museum to Friends of Falls Of Clyde. The final order is being drafted by Bishop Museum’s attorney and, once all parties have agreed to the terms and the judge signs off, the money will be transferred to FoFOC. We are hopeful that this will take place within the next couple of weeks. Having funds to invest and to use for the maintenance of the ship takes a big weight off FoFOC.

"The “Save America’s Treasures” grant application will go in shortly thanks to the work of Hal McArthur and Hans Van Tilburg. This is an excellent opportunity to get substantial funds to do work on the ship’s preservation.

"Volunteer work has been focused recently on collecting documents related to the ship from the 1960’s to the 2000’s. We believe we have a vast store of information that will help us with developing our Falls of Clyde preservation and restoration message for the public, as well as providing guidance for the work that needs to be done.

"We have put the word out at the last HOST meeting that we want to begin collecting the artifacts from the ship that were taken during the period that she was being prepared to be sunk. We know that many people in the maritime industry wanted to preserve the artifacts and now that the ship is saved and the plans are being laid for preservation and restoration, we need to know what we have to work with and what will need replacing. We encourage everyone who has or knows people who have artifacts from the ship to contact FoFOC and arrange for us to inventory and store them.

"We received a small grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for hiring a temporary project manager to oversee some preservation work that we will need to do before the ship is ready to go into drydock. This person will be a consultant and must be knowledgeable about historic preservation work. We are contacting mainland preservation organization to help find the person we need.

"Our message to all interested parties is that we are very confident that 2010 will be a year for positive steps forward in our efforts to preserve and restore our maritime treasure—Falls of Clyde."

This was the April 2010 post. Looks like they will be able to restore the ship and return her to her glory days.

I see that it was the Bishop Museum (our main public museum of Hawaiian history and treasures) that was dumping the ship. I can understand why, considering the huge cost of ship maintenance, which is probably the largest burden all ship preservation efforts face. particularly in this modern age where there are not the large crowds with any knowledge or interest in ships of any kind unless they have gambling and liquor on board. The Bishop museum can hardly be faulted, considering their limited money is focused on preserving the Hawaiian past. They could have come up with a better idea than the cop out "diving attraction" routine though.


Dave Hutson
27-06-2010, 20:17
Thanks Don - When we went aboard her there were a couple of guys - one employed the other a volunteer and she was in a sorry state - their enthusiasm warranted a donation to the restoration and we could see the potential.

Apologies to anyone who considers this to be off thread - but she is part of the Hawaiian Maritime Heritage and a very interesting story.

Dave H

Don Boyer
27-06-2010, 20:25
Just caught up with the posts, Dave...you can download anything of mine anytime. That's what I put them up there for -- considering how generous those on the forum like Terry are with the huge collections they share, it's the least I can do.

The Arizona Memorial with remain the same name-wise, but as you can see it's now "packaged" along with the Utah and Oklahoma Memorials and those on Saipan and Guam under the ignorant and silly overall title of "Valor in the Pacific National Monument." Something else we can thank George W for. I find the title stupid, frankly, but the National Park Service swallows this stuff all the time trying to be "non-confrontational" about these historical things. Considering Japanese attitudes, I think the NPS wussed out.

I took several shots of the Memorial from shoreside..here are the others. The second photo is taken from the circle of honor at the Bowfin museum...each of those plaques list the name and crew of one of the 52 submarines lost in WW II. The sub base on the other side of Pearl Harbor also has a memorial to the submariners "still on patrol."

Don Boyer
29-06-2010, 02:17
I received a PM regarding the bridge that appears in the background of many of the photos of the new Memorial Facility from someone who remembered that back in the day, Ford Island was reachable only by car ferry or launches from Merry Point Landing.

The bridge now connects Ford Island to the shore and it is partially a floating bridge. The two middle sections of the bridge can be retracted under the main structure, opening a channel wide enough for one of our nuclear carriers to pass through if need be. The bridge is opened on December 7th every year to allow a destroyer or cruiser to pass through after rendering honors to the USS Arizona.

The bridge is named for Admiral Bernard Ambrose "Chick" Clarey, a WW II submarine officer who rose through the ranks to become Commander, Submarines, Pacific and later Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet.

Admiral Clarey served aboard the submarine Amberjack as her Executive Officer and was present when Amberjack attacked and sank Tonan Maru No. 2, at 19,269 gross registered tons the largest merchant vessel in the Imperial Navy service. She was a former whale factory converted to a tanker. Sunk in shallow water, she was eventually raised and returned to service by the Japanese. Later in the war Clarey commanded submarine Pintado and in a convoy action he spotted the distinctive side-by-side stacks of an enormous oiler that could only be Tonan Maru. Clarey attacked, sinking Tonan Maru No. 2 for good, thereby entering the record books for sinking the largest Japanese merchant vessel lost in WWII.

Admiral Clarey was well known and well loved here in Hawaii where he served several tours of duty, thus the bridge was named in his honor.

29-06-2010, 03:17
Some very good pictures, Don. Thanks for posting


29-06-2010, 03:23
Off topic, a small bit, but Don Brought him up

Picture taken of Admiral Clarey when he visited Portsmouth in 1966 on the USS Newport News

Sorry about the quality of the picture


Don Boyer
15-08-2010, 16:55
To all my forum friends:

The Coca-Cola Corporation, in cooperation with the National Park Sevice, is sponsering a "vote" to provide $100,000 in additional funding to people's favorite national park.

If you would like to support this effort for the USS Arizona Memorial, the link is below. Once on the site, you can type in the zip code 96818, which will bring up the "Valor in the Pacific National Monument" that includes the Arizona Memorial. You can vote as many times as you want, and voting is open until August 31st, after which this link will be disabled.

All our national parks deserve good funding, and of course they don't get what they need with today's War on Terrorism topping the funding list, so your support just might help the Memorial finish some needed conservation projects.


Thanks to all who may vote.

steve roberts
15-08-2010, 19:13
Hi Don.Vote registered,though don't know if will count as a Brit?
Many Regards Steve.

Dave Hutson
17-08-2010, 17:59
Hi Don . Shaka, or is it Chaka, time dims to grey cells.

You know my feelings on Hawaii , I would vote a million to each and every one, however, if a Brit, like Steve, My vote counts then the Arizona and Diamond Head are tops and votes registered to both.

Regards from across 2 ponds to you and your family not forgetting the feline friend.

Dave H

Don Boyer
23-08-2010, 05:46
Something a little different for Pearl Harbor...the Boeing-built platform for the Raytheon X-Band Radar system, a very sophisticated radar for tracking missiles. Ostensibly home-based at Adak, Alaska, half way down the Aleutians chain, it has been spending considerable time at Pearl Harbor for "maintenance." What with the silly North Korean posturing for attention all the time, and the fact that we have destroyers and cruisers at Pearl with the dedicated SM-3 missile that can incercept ballistic missiles, one wonders if its presence is entirely maintenance-realted. It's a self propelled system, but not exactly too maneuverable, as when it comes into harbor it's under tow.

Official USN photo taken from Ford Island.

Don Boyer
01-11-2010, 00:34
A little update on the Arizona Memorial.

This December 7th will be the 69th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and the Arizona Memorial Visitor's Center will dedicate the new museum and reopen the renovated theater complex. See the attached for further details.

brian james
01-11-2010, 04:28
don,..... re the renaming of the "arizona memorial" .....pc gone absolutley stark raving bonkers!!! if it wasnt such an affront to those sailors you would kill yourself laughing!!

Don Boyer
01-11-2010, 14:17

I wrote a letter to the NPS on that subject, more to just see what they said in return than to gripe.

According to their PC PR pundits, the USS Arizona Memorial name has remained the same, but it is now part of the larger "Valor in the Pacific National Monument" which includes sites on Guam and Saipan along with the Arizona Memorial, Oklahoma Memorial, Utah Memorial and sites on Ford Island as well as an "internment" camp in California and sites on Attu and Kiska in the Aleutians. Apparently they didn't read my letter very well, as my main point was that the name was stupid to start with, regardless of what it encompassed. It's the term "valor" that is so silly. The World War II Pacific National Monument would have done fine if they wanted an all-encompassing name. Their was valor aplenty on the losing side too, but that does not make their actions any more palatable than they were when they first occurred on behalf of a seriously mis-guided nation under the control of a thoroughly distasteful military hierarchy.

This is entirely typical of the National Park Service, who are fine stewards of the Memorial itself and the ship as well, but who pander to the PC-itis that infects so many things these days. They also have a habit of shying away from anything controversial concerning the war as far as taking a stand on behalf of overall Pacific war historical accuracy and such, but that also is entirely to be expected, considering they are managing a focal site with huge foreign visitation. They do get the story of Pearl Harbor across very well in their movie and other presentations, but will not take any stand on issues not directly related to that, which I think is probably a wise thing to do since they would probably screw it up unless they wisely heeded their Chief Historian. (See my post #152 in this thread for more of my opinion on this! Also, post #162 has the response letter I got from the NPS.)

I will be at the ceremonies scheduled for Dec. 7th, and will burn up the camera batteries for some new posts here. I am particularly interested in seeing the new museum, as it has the space for many new exhibits of materials that have been in storage for years. Hopefully, they have managed to get them ready for exhibit and we won't see too many "in preparation" signs about. I have not talked to the chief historian of late, so I don't have a feel for how prepared the actual exhibits will be.

Bottom line, however, is that even with no name change at the Memorial itself, they've managed to "bury" it under an overall name that is silly to say the least. "Valor in the Pacific" is ridiculous and should have had a more benign tag associated with the units involved.

brian james
01-11-2010, 20:57
Thanks for the update don,..how did national parks become involved in what is basically a war grave site?!! Here in oz,.. I would expect the national wargraves dept would be in control of the site and general operation.A plethora of "public servants" running anything is a frightening prospect to say the least!!

Don Boyer
02-11-2010, 04:20
To be honest, Brian, the navy's handling of the Memorial prior to the Park Service taking over was less than stellar. Minimum funding, almost non-existent historical interpretation, etc. Not surprising, considering the navy isn't funded for that sort of thing outside the Navy Historical Center.

The National Park Service became involved in the early 80s because they specialize in managing national monuments, and have the historical training and expertise to not only "show" the ship but to place it in it's proper historical perspective for the edification of tourists and serious historians as well. They have done well in that department over the years, and the Chief Historian at the site, Daniel Martinez, is as good as they come.

The navy "owns" the ship, but the Park Service handles the interpretation and management. It was the Park Service that actually dived on the wreck and videotaped the USS Arizona for the first time (without ever entering the vessel), something the navy had never thought of. Now they know exactly what they have in terms of the need to monitor what will be the gradual decay of the ship. The navy and Park Service have worked fairly well together over the years, cooperating on such things as interments aboard the ship and the annual honoring of the ship on December 7th.

Despite some condescending to PC-itis, overall I would give the National Park Service a high grade for all they have done for the ship, and the memory of all those who died aboard as well as those who survived. The new Memorial Visitor's Center, with its greatly expanded museum is a fitting cap to many years of successful management. As you know, I was once a Park Ranger there, but despite my ties to the Service, I would say the same even if I had never worked for them. And my ties to the Memorial go back to before the Memorial over the ship was completed, so I have seen its management from the start.

02-11-2010, 09:40
Here's the USS Arizona today, after the upgrades to the monument allowing for better handicapped access and a general cleaning. There have been a large number of photos from overhead in the past few years using Polaroid lenses that will allow a better look at the underwater details. The massive damage forward is quite obvious....turret 1 is still in place, but 33 feet lower than it would have been on the ship, and it still has all three guns in place.

The USS Missouri is located just south of the Memorial, although she is being moved to drydock for painting and refurbishing in early October.

wow! I have never seen pictures of the arizona before I did not know that you could see it or visit it!
I am not sure how i feel about people being able to go there though. As i look at the picture from above all I can picture are the poor souls trapped inside. I guess it would be no different from visiting a grave.

This site is already amazing me. I am so interested in particually WW2 anyway and its amazing to be able to tap into vast amounts of knowledge from so many different people around the world!

Thank you for sharing your stories and photos :)

brian james
03-11-2010, 04:03
love to "return" one day it really looks great!!

Don Boyer
05-11-2010, 01:31
Was in Pearl Harbor yesterday to finish the photography of all 53 memorial plaques for the US submarines/submariners lost in WWII and took the attached photo, a little different than the norm. Bitter winter has arrived in Hawaii...

Don Boyer
05-12-2010, 16:44
Nice post of the Pearl Harbor photos. This coming Tuesday, December 7th, will mark the 69th anniversary of the event, and the US Navy and National Park Service will be holding their usual commemorative ceremonies, this time marked by the official dedication of the new $56 million shoreside facilities, including opening the new museum buildings and the renovated theaters. I will be attending the ceremonies and will post photographs later next week.

The heavy loss of life from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and the shocking lack of warning beforehand has been burned into the American consciousness as few incidents in our history have. 9/11 comes close in our modern era for the same two reasons.

Yet, looking back at the attack from the perspective of so many years having past, in the end it was a total failure in accomplishing what the Japanese thought were their strategic goals. America stood fast, contrary to what the Japanese thought would happen, and the US Navy was not knocked out of the war for any appreciable period of time. Within six months of the attack, four of the six Japanese aircraft carriers that executed the attack were sunk, and the Imperial navy lost any chance it had to successfully stop the American response.

In fact, in total, the attack cost the US Navy two first line battleships whose modern and far more capable counterparts were already completed or under construction; loss of an old battleship relagated to target and training duties; moderate to serious damage to six battleships, the most severly damaged of which was returned to service by early 1944; three destroyers sunk in drydock and returned to service and damage to many other ships, all of which eventually returned to service -- even the antiquated Oglala. It was not the shattering blow it had been perceived to be by the American public and many others (particularly the Japanese) at the time.

It will be interesting to hear the speeches and comments during the ceremonies this year to gain some insight on the modern perspective on this attack that so defined an era of total war.

John Odom
05-12-2010, 18:01
Yes, Don, the Japanese thought they had a monopoly on the "fighting spirit" that would win the war. They had never seen really angry Americans, nor had they any idea of the strength of the American industrial establishment.

I think the fighting spirit would develop should it happen again. Today, I don't think we could put together an industrial system capable of rapidly producing tanks, ships and planes.

The biggest factor in winning the war was the industrial might of America. That is now gone.

Don Boyer
05-12-2010, 20:53
I agree, John, I wonder if the ability to manufacture war goods as well as the ability to create huge numbers of soldiers and sailors out of civilians could ever be duplicated again in time of real need.

American industrial might had not yet even come close to hitting its stride when the war started, despite "gearing up" starting seriously in 1938-9. But in two years we were producing thousands of planes and thousands of ships (including little landing craft) per year and miilions of troops. This had an unrecognized environmental cost at the time, of course, but did what needed to be done, supply ourselves and our allies with what was needed to defeat Nazism and Japan's belated psuedo-fascist Imperialism.

As far as the Japanese are concerned, we destroyed their ability to win the war in the Pacific with what we had on hand in 1942 -- early 1943, which they refuse to recognize, much preferring the more face-saving conclusion that they were overwhelmed by industrial capacity, not by our fighting ability toe-to-toe with what we hand in hand at the time, which is far closer to the truth. After all, how could mere westerners cope with the "Bushido" ethic of the true samurai warrior??

The industrial might just guaranteed we would overwhelm any bastion they held despite anything they could do, including the kamikaze. This, of course, applies most directly to the Imperial navy, as we couldn't get at the Imperial Army in the same fashion with the exception of Guadalcanal/New Guinea early in the war, and even then our troops -- and most particularly the Australian and New Zealand soldiers flyboys and sailors -- ground the Imperial Army up and spit it out soon enough, at great cost.

Sadly, Japan still lives in a fantasy world concerning World War II, as exemplified by the mystified Japanese tourists who visit the Arizona Memorial with no clue as to what really happened in the war. This is particularly interesting, considering the most damning evidence of wartime events comes from the Japanese historical records themselves, not from "western interpretations" of events after the fact. I have a lot of fun with that every time I visit the Memorial. When I was a park ranger, however, I could not indulge it that sort of debate, as it is counter to the purposes of the park's interpretational mandates.

06-12-2010, 16:26
I wonder if the ability to manufacture war goods as well as the ability to create huge numbers of soldiers and sailors out of civilians could ever be duplicated again in time of real need.

Don, an interesting question regarding American industrial might. You question should the need arise could America be able to produce enough goods as it did in ww2.

I think the answer would be no. Not because of any lack of capacity, but because of the complexity of modern equipment. The days of car makers being able to produce tanks and aircraft are gone. Modern weapons systems are so complex that they take a lot longer to manufacture than their ww2 counterparts, and very few manufactures would have the necessay expertise to even think about it. That is if you could surmount the patents infringement issue.

Also, the destructive power of modern weapons means that they can be destroyed much more quickly than they can be replaced, so making a war (other than a guerrilla war) so much shorter, thus making the whole question academic.

07-12-2010, 07:18
I doubt that the materials, as thought of in World War Two numbers, would be requisite should diplomacy fail and several nations decide that any issue be settled on the battlefield, Don.

Bill mentions the lead time required to produce the gizmos for the field, as well as the dearth of precious trained hands to operate them, never mind the finished raw materials, engineers and machinists required to get equipment into the logistics stream.

The nature of the beast will see any major conflict opening and closing with what is in inventory. Consider the progress of technology since 1945.

Sixty-nine years since the attack on Pearl, this day.

John Odom
07-12-2010, 13:22
Yes, Hank, and our inventory is depleted.

Don Boyer
07-12-2010, 23:48
Bill and Hank both make good points on the industrial needs and abilities in wartime today compared to "back in the day." The level of capacity is lacking in many respects.

It is interesting to note, however, that when WW II started not one person in the world could possibly have predicted that the United States was capable of producing war materials from manufacturers (who, in many cases, had never produced military goods) that would suffice to supply our allies as well as more than meet the needs of fighting a war on two oceans. Even the United States' most knowledgeable men, men in places of power and knowledge, had no clue.

For those interested in the subject, Richard Overy's "Why the Allies Won" (W.W. Norton & Co., NY, 1995) is outstanding in laying out this industrial tale of success, particularly in Chapter 6, "A Genius for Mass Production: Economies at War." and Chapter 7, "A War of Engines: Technology and Military Power."

Frankly, should backs be to the wall once again like they were in WW II when faced with genocidal evil on one hand and neo-fascist Asian imperialism on the other, I am fully confident the US could perform similarly, despite the technological sophistication required.

The reason I feel this way is fairly simple, as a speaker said today at the 69th anniversary of Pearl Harbor commemoration ceremonies -- "..if ever there was a country worth fighting for, it's this one." (With apologies to all my member friends from other countries who no doubt feel exactly the same about their own homeland!) The sentiment is no doubt universal, of course, and goes a long way toward explaining the sacrifices democracies make to preserve freedom.

Don Boyer
12-12-2010, 04:30
I promised myself I would at least post a few of the photos I took at the 60th Commemoration event at Pearl Harbor this past December 7th. I have a bad cold for an early Christmas present, but will put a few up now and more later.

Due to not being a VIP, my seating for the ceremonies were somewhere near Truk Lagoon, so photographing all the speechifying and the great rendition of the National Anthem by Jim Nabors was not worth the trouble with my little digital dynamo.

The two new museum buildings were opened to the public, and despite great displays, and a layout that provides for easy access to all the exhibits, I was somewhat disappointed overall as the ceilings are painted black, and the overall impression was too "cave-like" for my taste. The "walk through" layout -- in one door and out another was nice, considering the number of tourists who will pass through yearly (over 1 million) but otherwise I would have appreciated a bit more open-air cheerfullness to the place. Especially for a $56 million expenditure.

However, the new exhibits are really excellent, and fully up to the best interpretive standards of the National Park Service, for which I would bet my last dollar the Park Historian, Mr. Daniel Martinez exerted his usual effective influence.

The first photo in this batch is of the Arizona Memorial and USS Missouri, taken just before the ceremonies started. Photo 2 and 3 are of the color guard bringing the colors to the fore for the national anthem. Photo 4 is the flyby of the Montana Natinal Guard F-15s in the "missing man" formation over the USS Arizona. Photo 5 shows the B.A. Clarey bridge opened up for the passage of the USS Chafee, DDG 90 which is manning the rails to honor both the USS Arizona and the Pearl Harbor survivors attending the ceremonies. Photos 6 and 7 are of the Chaffee approaching the Arizona Memorial.

Later posts will cover some of the museum exhibits.

John Odom
12-12-2010, 15:14
I know what you mean about the black overhead. It is the current style and will probably give way to something better in time.

12-12-2010, 15:39
Good timing, have just received this from Pearl Harbor, showing the USS Arizona memorial, the USS Oklahoma Memorial, the USS Utah Memorial and the USS Bowfin. Very keen to visit Pearl Harbor but it is a very long way to go.

Don Boyer
13-12-2010, 06:01
Here's a start on the photographs I took at the 60th commemoration of Pearl Harbor. Due to the exceptionally large crowds, it was difficult to get good photo "angles" in many cases, especially to get glare of some of the cased exhibits, but this and the following groups are representative of the new musuem facilities and grounds.

Photo 1 is of one of the many new outside exhibits. Photo 2 is one of the Arizona's bells, used in the Dec. 7th ceremonies. Photos 3 and 4 show some of the new "locater" plaques, which now include Braille. On Photo 3, they managed to misspell Admiral Bernard Clary's name, which will give me somethng to rag Daniel Martinez about next time I see him. Photo 5 is the flags at the entrance to the Visitor Center, all half-masted on Dec. 7. Photo 6 is the USS Pearl Harbor (LPD-52) tied up at the fueling pier next to the Memorial complex.

Don Boyer
19-12-2010, 03:33
As I mentioned in an earlier post, the USS Arizona Memorial's new museum buildings opened up this past December 7th. The first building focuses on the lead-up to the war and the second contains the displays on the actual attack on Pearl Harbor and closes with the Japanese surrender on the USS Missouri.

Here are the first batch of photographs from the new faciilities.

Photo 1 is a huge photograph of most of the US Pacific Fleet anchored in Pearl Harbor ca. 1940. The fleet had been moved their by order of President Roosevelt to act as a "reminder" to the Japanese, currently deeply involved in the China War, to act more responsibly. I doubt it ever occured to the politicians that the Imperial Army (defacto rulers of the Japanese government) were going to be deterred by anything up to and including war.

Photo 2 is another portion of the same photograph, with explanatory text. Admirla Richardson, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet, was relieved of command for basically telling the President to his face that moving the fleet was pretty dumb. Admiral Husband Kimmel assumed command and would have his career shattered by the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Photo 3 is a blow-up of a situation map of the day showing the locations and status of the miltiary aircraft in the Hawaiian island group and nearby bases.

Photo 4 is one of a series I took of the USS Arizona model, now refurbished (with correctly painted turret tops) and provided with new interpretive plaques. I will post all the photos of the Arizona and the Akagi models in the modelling forum later. Unfortunately, with a flash, the colors are slightly off -- Arizona's gray hull is darker than shown here.

Photo 5 is a stern view of the almost 9 foot model of the Akagi, flagship of the Kido Butai as she appeared just prior to the first launch on December 7th. An extremely accurate model, all the aircraft are positioned exactly as they were that day with the correct tail numbers. Unfortunately, it was so crowded getting really close detailed shots was almost impossible. And again, the color is slightly off, the hull being a darker gray.

Photo 6 is a second shot of Akagi from starboard forward.

Photo 7 are mock-ups of the various types of bombs used in the attack. The one on the left is the type that destroyed the Arizona.

Photo 8 is the 18" aerial torpedo used by the Kate torpedo bombers at Pearl harbor.

John Odom
19-12-2010, 12:05
Thanks, Don!

Don Boyer
19-12-2010, 17:58
Here are the photos taken in the second of the new museum buildings at the Arizona Memorial which focuses on the actual attack on Pearl Harbor (without, strangely, much coverage of Hickam, Kaneohe, Ewa, Wheeler and Schofield Barracks).

Photos 1,2 and 3 are of a new very large curved mural to the right of the entrance showing the initial moments of the attack, with a Kate dropping a torpedo and several torpedo tracks in the water. The mural shows the entire length of battleship row from California to Nevada. Photo 4 is of a large model of a Kate torpedo bomber descending over the viewer's head as if it will fly right on into the mural. The effect is fairly realistic!

Photos 5 is a small brass model of the USS Ward and a Japanese midget sub. Ward fired the first shot of the war at a midget attempting to penetrate Pearl Harbor. This particular submarine was found recently by the University of Hawaii's deep submergence vehicles, confirming Ward's hit against the base of the conning tower which sank the submarine. Ward reported this attack several times, emphatically, and was recieved ashore with little alarm, since there had been so many "false alarms" regarded submarines operating in the area, although none of the previous reports had mentioned actually attacking, firing on, and dropping depth charges on a submarine. By the time this report filtered to the top, it was far too late.

Photos 6 through 8 cover the second detection of the approach of Japanese forces -- the Opana Radar Station located at the far north tip of Oahu. This radar station detected the incoming flight of attack aircraft, but the report was ignored, as everyone assumed it was a flight of B-17s due to land at Hickam that morning. Another of those "what if's" -- the radar operaters were inexperienced, and the officers who should have reported the contact were new to the job and also inexperienced. Radar was a new and untrusted technology at the time as well. A missed opportunity, for sure, but it probably would not have mattered much, as the attacking aircraft were just minutes away from deploying for the attack anyway, and even if the alarm had been sounded, not much preparation could have been made, although had the crews of the Arizona and Oklahoma had more time, the death toll would probably have been far lower. The oscilliscope on the radar set functions, by the way.

Don Boyer
19-12-2010, 18:40
Continuing on with the photographs, Photo 1 in this group is a collection of artifacts from the attack, including a 5" shell and casing recovered from the USS Arizona, bits of shrapnel from anti-aircraft rounds that landed in Honolulu, the deck log of the USS Conyingham showing her anti-aircraft action that claimed three aircraft shot down, and pieces recovered from the Kate bomber that crashed into the dispensary on Ford Island.

Photos 2 and 3 are a new display of a portion of the USS Arizona. This is a section of the enlisted mess hall removed when the Memorial was built over the Arizona. Several large pieces of the Arizona are stored ashore in a secure area maintained by the National Park Service. Small pieces of the ship are cut from these sections for presentation pieces to deserving individuals and organizations (I have one of them, a gift from Chief Historian Daniel Martinez for my service as a public affairs officer at the Memorial. These pieces cannot be sold or used for profit, and remain the property of the US Navy.)

Photo 4 shows the remains of a Japanese torpedo recovered from the mud of Pearl Harbor many years after the attack. The torpedo was picked up by a dredging crane intact. The crane operator, thinking the object was a piece of mooring quay, banged it against the side of the dock to knock the mud off. When it was recognized as a torpedo, he disappeared rather quickly. The navy, with their usual paranoia over old ordnance, had EOD blow it up, instead of taking the time and effort (not particularly dangerous) to remove the explosives and retain a complete torpedo in perfect shape. Instead, the Memorial gets to display a piece of mangled junk.

Photo 5 is an intepretive display of the damage done by torpedoes to the battleships. The photo is of the West Virginia after she had been put in drydock for temporary repairs priot to being sent to Bremerton, Washington for complete reconstruction. She would go on to support amphibious landings in the Pacific and fight in the battle of Surigao Straight, the last of the Pearl Harbor battleship veterans to return to service.

Photo 6 shows artifacts related to the Japanese-Americans who were soldiers, sailors and defense workers on Oahu during the war.

Photo 7 through 10 are of the model of the USS Arizona as she looks today. The model was constructed from the photographs and videos made of the Arizona by the National Park Service dive team in the 1980s. The team is headquartered in Santa Fe, New Mexico (I was involved in this project as a volunteer) which created line drawings of the ship and eventually this model.

03-01-2011, 18:16
Continuing on with the photographs, Photo 1 in this group is a collection of artifacts from the attack, including a 5" shell and casing recovered from the USS Arizona, bits of shrapnel from anti-aircraft rounds that landed in Honolulu, the deck log of the USS Conyingham showing her anti-aircraft action that claimed three aircraft shot down, and pieces recovered from the Kate bomber that crashed into the dispensary on Ford Island.

Photos 2 and 3 are a new display of a portion of the USS Arizona. This is a section of the enlisted mess hall removed when the Memorial was built over the Arizona. Several large pieces of the Arizona are stored ashore in a secure area maintained by the National Park Service. Small pieces of the ship are cut from these sections for presentation pieces to deserving individuals and organizations (I have one of them, a gift from Chief Historian Daniel Martinez for my service as a public affairs officer at the Memorial. These pieces cannot be sold or used for profit, and remain the property of the US Navy.)

Photo 4 shows the remains of a Japanese torpedo recovered from the mud of Pearl Harbor many years after the attack. The torpedo was picked up by a dredging crane intact. The crane operator, thinking the object was a piece of mooring quay, banged it against the side of the dock to knock the mud off. When it was recognized as a torpedo, he disappeared rather quickly. The navy, with their usual paranoia over old ordnance, had EOD blow it up, instead of taking the time and effort (not particularly dangerous) to remove the explosives and retain a complete torpedo in perfect shape. Instead, the Memorial gets to display a piece of mangled junk.

Photo 5 is an intepretive display of the damage done by torpedoes to the battleships. The photo is of the West Virginia after she had been put in drydock for temporary repairs priot to being sent to Bremerton, Washington for complete reconstruction. She would go on to support amphibious landings in the Pacific and fight in the battle of Surigao Straight, the last of the Pearl Harbor battleship veterans to return to service.

Photo 6 shows artifacts related to the Japanese-Americans who were soldiers, sailors and defense workers on Oahu during the war.

Photo 7 through 10 are of the model of the USS Arizona as she looks today. The model was constructed from the photographs and videos made of the Arizona by the National Park Service dive team in the 1980s. The team is headquartered in Santa Fe, New Mexico (I was involved in this project as a volunteer) which created line drawings of the ship and eventually this model.


I was looking with great interest at your picture of the model of USS Arizona.What really surprises me is that, in looking in tandem with pictures of the ship during the war when she was dismantled, the forward turrets remained with the ship despite the forward magazine exploding.Having looked at pictures of HMS Invincible wreck and read accounts of HMS Hoods demise both ships affected turrets where blown out/off the ship.Having never been privileged to pay my respects to USS Arizona and her crew (and not likely to be in a position to !) may I ask did the explosion vent outwards as opposed to upwards? The wreck still looks like a ship whereas if you look as other ships that have suffered magazine explosions there isn't a huge amount left of the affected area.

With Regard


mike d
19-02-2011, 04:23
Wow! Thanks again for your splendid posts! My brother and his wife will be visiting the memorial tomorrow morning and I hope they take some good pics.......in spite of the security measures in place!

Don Boyer
26-02-2011, 02:26
Although not directly related to Pearl Harbor itself, the photograph below is part of the Pearl Harbor story. It's an early-morning view of Kolekole Pass in the Waianae Mountains just above Schofield Barracks. Part of the Pearl Harbor attack force came through this pass on December 7, 1941 -- the fighters and bombers assigned to attack Wheeler field in particular. Shown in both Tora Tora Tora and the dreck Pearl Harbor movie, the aircraft were not actually skimming the treetops as depicted in the movies, but descending from their filight altitude to attack altitude. Viewed from a distance, one can see how it might appear that the planes were much lower than they actually were as they passed over Kolekole. Portions of the Schofield Barracks Army base are in the foreground, as is a bit of winter low-lying fog common in this area at this time of year. The Naval Ammunition Depot at Lualualei is on the other side of the pass and their is a road connecting the two. This is my view driving to work every morning -- I work in one of the buildings in the photo.

Don Boyer
28-04-2011, 19:23
I visited the Kolekole Pass Lookout in 1999. Fantastic view looking down towards the coast. I don't know if you can still access it since 9/11 because you had to drive through Schofield Barracks. If it's still reachable check it out. (Ignore the machine gun and explosive noises you hear as you drive up.)

Here is a link to this great view. The view is much wider than the one shown in the link.



Bruce, nice photo. I happen to work on Schofield right below the pass, and I posted a recent photograph of the area on the forum earlier in this Pearl Harbor section. Access to the pass from either direction is restricted (the navy's ammunition depot at Lualualei is on the other side from Schofield) but it is used by military and Department of Defense civilian workers during the day as a "shortcut" to work for those who live on the Waianae side of the island. The road is used in emergencies for all traffic should the H-1 freeway be shut down for any reason. Your photo shows the Lualualei/Waianae side of the pass.

Don Boyer
02-05-2011, 20:53
MSNBC carried this article today on the new museum facilities at the USS Arizona Memorial.


Don Boyer
19-07-2011, 19:43
An interesting bit of news regarding the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor here:


Holding a traditional Japanese tea ceremony (which has great social and cultural significance in Japan) at the Arizona Memorial represents an interesting turn of events at this memorial to those killed on December 7, 1941. This is the very first Japanese event of its kind at the memorial, although small groups of Japanese veterans have been involved in commemorative ceremonies in the past.

The Pear Harbor Survivor's association voted a few years ago to discontinue holding their major ceremonies at the Memorial due to costs and of course to the advanced age of the participants. Time seems to have mellowed the perceptions related to allowing Japanese the opportunity to commemorate the war dead -- many Pearl Harbor survivors were for years adamantly opposed to any Japanese representation at any Arizona Memorial ceremonies, although there were notable exceptions such as the noted friendship of IJN bomber pilot Zenji Abe and former USS West Virginia Marine Richard Fiske, now both deceased. For many years Abe-san provided money for flowers that Dick would take out to the memorial and lay in the shrine room and play taps. (I believe NatGeo or Discovery Channel has film of one of those ceremonies, the last time Dick and Zenji were together.)

Of course, harsh reality also intrudes. While the Japanese tea ceremony at the Arizona Memorial is a significant change in perceptions here, I seriously doubt if the visit of any gaijin (foriegner) to the Yasukuni Jinja in Japane would be particularly welcomed. Certainly not a visit to the inner temple, I would think. John Odom may have more perspective on that, as I could never get there in my time in Japan. Seems Yasukuni is mainly in the hands of retrograde ardent nationalists in Japan who jealousy guard their perceptions of the old Imperial military services.

Genshitsu Sen, by the way, is former Imperial Japanese Navy, I believe.

John Odom
19-07-2011, 21:28
I personally think it is great that the Japanese have had a tea/peace ceremony there at Pearl Harbor.

Don is correct that it would be very hard to arrange something similar at Yasukuni Jinja! I think it would be wonderful is someone of sufficiently high rank tried to arrange one though!

There are die-hard nationalists in Japan that honestly believe that the Pearl Harbor attack was purely defensive in nature ant that the whole war was the fault of the western imperialists.

Don Boyer
21-07-2011, 03:30
Attached is a more detailed article on the recent Japanese sacred tea ceremony held at the USS Arizona Memorial -- oh, pardon me, the "Valor in the Pacific National Monument".

Now that this has occurred, I am writing a letter to Mrs Ariyoshi (wife of the former Hawaii state governor) asking her to work diligently to allow a serious student of military history and combat veteran from America to lay a wreath at the Yasukuni Jinja in Japan as a gesture of peace and reconciliation toward the millions of Japanese Soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the wars of Japan. We're long overdue for some closure there, and with this example of international amity in place, I am sure the Japanese government will be anxious to reciprocate as a gesture of harmony, purity, tranquility and reverence.

I managed to transpose the attachments in my usual deft manner -- the second one is the first page of the article.

John Odom
22-07-2011, 01:51
Good, Don.

Don Boyer
11-11-2011, 00:39
I could not find a thread close enough for this, so a new one...

First, to all my veteran friends and all those on the forum veteran or not, have a good and safe Veteran's and Remembrance Day. Our prayers are with our serving Soldiers, Seamen, Airmen and Marines on this day especially as we remember those who served before and most of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

"There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the Soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
'Step forward now, you Soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell." --Anon.

For a memorial that says so much about those who served and sacrificed, the USS Arizona Memorial has planned a complete refurbishment of the Memorial over the sunken ship, including repairs to the memorial wall with the names of all 1177 Arizona casualties and those who have chosen to join there shipmates since that day. Corrections to names and ranks will be made as well. For those interested, see the attached and check the link.

God Bless us all, every one...



John Odom
11-11-2011, 00:43
Good for the NPS and Navy!

29-11-2011, 13:43
The 70th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor falls in eight days time.
Are there any special events being planned to commemorate the event.
The remaining survivors are now well advanced in their years and the chance of many more occasions to attend further events will be diminished with the passage of time.

Well done, to all those who were there during 1941. Your country is proud of you all.

Regards, Pete'

Don Boyer
18-05-2012, 18:30
An update on the USS Arizona Memorial is forthcoming from my over-worked digital camera on May 27th when I have been invited to participate in an after-hours evening tour of the Memorial itself. Depending on the light, I should be able to get some photographs different that the usual daytime shots. This year also marks the beginning of the process of refurbishing the Memorial itself, which has of course deteriorated due to salt water corrosion and heavy use (when it was designed, no one ever expected over 1 million visitors a year, although not all of those are able to actually tour the Memorial itself due to the limitations of the boats that carry passengers to and from the Memorial.

In addition to general refurbishing, the entire Memorial Wall containing the names of the 1177 sailors and marines killed aboard Arizona is going to be taken down and repaired. Corrections to misspelled names will be made and I believe there are some additional names to be added. The project is scheduled for completion by the summer of 2013.

More on all this in two weeks. My son Scott is going with me, so we should gather some excellent photography. Later this year I wll also be attending the 70th anniversary memorial commemoration events. Sadly, now that the Pearl Harbor Survivor's Association has discontinued formal attendence, there will be far fewer survivors present than in past years. All but two of the ones I've known for so many years are gone now, including Japanese survivors.

Don Boyer
26-05-2012, 17:13
For those interested in the ongoing and long-overdue upgrades and repairs to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pacific Historic Parks has established a website:

http://restore.arizonamemorial [dot] org/index.html

The site will chronicle the repairs to the facility over the next year or so. Of particular note will be the cleaning and repairs to the memorial wall's list of names, including correcting some misspeliings and incorrect ranks.

Don Boyer
30-05-2012, 07:36
Here are the promised photographs of the Arizona Memorial taken during the evening boat tour last Sunday for those Pacific Historic Parks members who contributed to the funds for the Memorial repairs and refurbishing. As per Hawaiian standards, the weather decided to be windy and cloudy instead of sunny and warm, so the photos were not exactly what I would have wished for given the beautiful late afternoon lighting that normally prevails. Photos taken from the boat are a tad fuzzy -- engine vibrations and focusing cameras aren't always compatible.

Photo 1: The memorial as the boat approaches. The entire structure is going to be cleaned and all fittings, and other infrastructure replaced or re-furbished, inside and out. All lighting is to be replaced as well and the flagpole re-done.

Photo 2: The Memorial access ramp. This structure was recently re-built to handicapped access standards much better than the previous ramp which only had a chair lift.

Photo 3: The foyer of the Memorial. To the left and right of this entrance are flags of all the states represented by the battleships in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The gentleman in the patch jacket in the foreground is a retired radioman who served on 5 different Essex class carriers, which must be some kind of record! The “fenced” area just in front of the Shrine Room allows visitors to look down on the ship right about where the starboard aft 1.1.” AA mount would have been installed. It's “tub” is there, but the guns were never mounted.

Photo 4: The center portion of the Memorial wall. This wall will be dis-mounted, cleaned, repaired and will have several misspellings and incorrect ranks fixed as well.

Photo 5: A larger view of the Memorial wall. The marble block at lower left lists the 35 USS Arizona survivors who have been interred in the Arizona with their shipmates to date. Two US Marines are among this group. According to one of the Park Service rangers, only 14 Arizona survivors are still alive.

Photo 6: The Arizona's anchor in its new position at the shore side complex. This anchor was blown clear of the ship and recovered later. An explosion that can toss an 8.8 ton anchor off the ship gives and idea of the forces involved in the detonation of Arizona's magazines. The USS Bowfin is behind the anchor.

Photo 7: A shot of the superbly refurbished model of the Arizona in the museum building. I've posted photos of this ship model previously, commenting on how the gray hull looked "blue" in photos. Turns out recent research has shown that the Arizona had been painted in a Mediterranean blue prior to reporting to Pearl Harbor, not in the standard navy gray of the day, so the color is correct for you modeling fans.

Photo 8: This model shows the Arizona as she appears today and is based on the National Park Service's dive team videos of the ship made in the early 1980s. There are also line drawings by the Park Service that have appeared in several books now. One gets a very good impression of how violent the explosion on Arizona was when you note the entire port side armored belt, weighing several thousand tons is displaced several feet to the left and everything surrounding the two forward turrets has been blown out. The collapse of the bridge, conning tower and forward mast was due to the explosion blowing out the major bulkhead between turret 2 and the forward boiler rooms. The guns of turret one were never removed because it was far too dangerous to try to access the inside of the turret to remove the roof.

Photo 9: A view of the USS Missouri from the access ramp to the Memorial. You can see how close together they are.

Photo 10: A view of the USS Utah from the harbor side.

Don Boyer
30-05-2012, 07:39
Since the site refused to let me post all the photos at one time, here's the second five.

brian james
30-05-2012, 23:21
Thank you Don for those poignant photos ......Regards Brian..

Don Boyer
31-05-2012, 23:46
Thanks Brian. Alway enjoyable and at the same time humbling when visiting the Memorial, particularly on Memorial Day and the anniversaries. I am most proud of the fact that over the past ten years the Memorial has gotten the attention it deserves from the navy, the National Park Service and the nation at large -- new shoreside facilities, new boats, and now a complete and long-overdue renovation of the Memorial itself. I've been around the Memorial since just before it was completed and dedicated, going on 51 years now, and I have the same feelings of sadness, respect and pride all mixed together everytime I go there, and I make sure the Arizona Memorial gets a yearly donation from me and the family.

On a historic note, I heard on of the park rangers mentioning that they have now completed as close a count as possible as to the number of sailors whose remains are still aboard the Arizona -- 932 -- out of the 1177 total casualties. The process of making accurate counts of casualties has been complicated and protracted. One example that always comes up is that of the sailor who was badly burned on the Arizona but survived to be transferred to a hosptial in San Francisco where, months later, he contracted pneumonia and died. Hospital records listed him as dying of pneumonia and it wasn't until years later that someone connected the dots and realized the pneumonia was a direct result of the injuries sustained on the Arizona and that he therefore should be counted as an Arizona casualty.

01-06-2012, 02:37
Since the site refused to let me post all the photos at one time, here's the second five.

Don, I noticed in the backround of the USS Utah photo several homes and a wherehouse of some type. When I visited Pearl Harbor with my folks as a kid in Jan 1970 I don't remember those buildings and in fact I have an old super 8mm film of the tour that shows the area behind the ship undeveloped. Do you know when those buildings were added and are they gov't housing or such. I do remember hearing about concerns back in the '90's that the harbor especially Ford Island was wanted for development. Please don't tell me it's a Chinese business development! Cadillac 811

Don Boyer
01-06-2012, 19:57

The buildings are military housing, and I am not really sure when they were built. There was housing on the island from the early days, for sure, some of which is being preserved, such as the old chief's quarters which are on the opposite side, close to the USS Missouri. That directly behind the Utah are the older original housing, restored and renovated, but retaining their exterior appearance as they are part of the historic areas.

The warehouses and such in the background were added during and post WWII. There are also buildings there from pre-WWII days, some approaching 100 years old. In the earliest days of the military use of Ford Island, the west side (where Utah is) was "Luke Field" and belonged to the Army Air Corps. Later, as the construction of Hickam Air Force Base was approved and funded, the Army gave Luke Field to the Navy. The navy then used those facilities as the field for the squadrons attached to the aircraft carriers. The east side, near Battleship Row was the seaplane base. There are several areas where the old defensive gun batteries and their magazines were located as well.

There is a section of brand new housing behind the older housing and this area is to be expanded considerably as the navy gives up old housing areas around Pearl Harbor (but outside the base) and returns that land to the state. The companies doing all the upgrades to Ford Island are all American, thankfully, and there are plans for a total revamp of the area for housing and support facilities for naval personnel. Most of the old runway will be eliminated (with a sections showing battle damage from December 7th preserved) and you can expect to see much development on the island over the next five years or so. Structures on the National Register of Historic places will be preserved, of course.

The Pacific Aviation Museum, which uses two of the old seaplane hangers, is in the process of completely restoring the old control tower on Ford Island and it will be returned to battle-ready condition eventually. I do not know if the top of the tower would be opened to visitation, however, as it is exactly in a spot that would allow one to see into the nuclear submarine repair facility, which is one of two big "no-no" areas in the Pearl Harbor complex, and I am sure the navy would not like that, especially at close range.

The navy has signed huge contracts to utilize Ford Island for it's personnel and their are new miltary facilities already in place such as transient quarters, the brig, and other joint-service facilities in addition to personnel housing. Frankly, it is far cheaper and more utilitarian to utilize Ford Island for this than to try an acquire off-base property in Hawaii which can cost millions of dollars a square FOOT! The historic properties will not be affected by any of this development.

Surprisingly, the proposed development of Ford Island has generated very little controversy among veterans and historians because the navy has been on top of the situation PR-wise, stressing preservation of historic sites above development in all case. The state of Hawaii, of course, stands to profit big time from this development, as it will eventually open up areas outside Pearl Harbor to development. The old runway will be the only major loss, and it is not that historically significant. Security has been a bigger concern, thus no foriegn-owned or funded developers have been allowed anywhere near any of these projects. Plus, with the development of high-rise apartments and condominums along the Pearl City (north) side of Pearl Harbor, the navy was already stabbed in the back by developers years ago. If our beloved democratic republics like China and North Korea want to keep an eagle eye on Pearl, I'm sure they've already bought a luxury top-floor condo in one or more of those buildings and have already equipped them with modern kitchen appliances such as the latest Celestron 8" telescopes with flip lenses, night vision equipment and a direct satellite link to Beijing and Pyongyang...

tim lewin
02-06-2012, 05:55
Dear Don, and other contributors, not read this thread before so fascinated to see how it builds up from the initial curiosity. Excellent insights and information for which many thanks. I am writing only to say that since leaving HMS Belfast where he was director for many years, Brad King has taken over at Battleship Cove on the East Coast of the USA and recently introduced a Pearl Harbour "experience" which i gather is proving highly popular and educational.
All best

Don Boyer
02-06-2012, 18:23
Very nice of you to comment, Tim, and you can note I feel the same way about the HMS Belfast thread and the magnificent things you've done over the years with that fine warrior. I personally know of no one who has done more to preserve a fine warship and her history than you have.

I should mention that in addition to the National Park Service website on the USS Arizona, there is also the Pacific Historic Parks website (formerly the Arizona Memorial Museum Associtation) which updates the progress on the renovation of the Memorial and is the site to go to if any wish to contribute.

Again, Tim, many thanks..

Don Boyer
19-08-2012, 18:34
Thought this would be a good time to post some new (and one old) photo of the Memorial as it is now in 2012 while various renovations are underway. The old photo is one of the Memorial under construction in late 1960. I was on board for an unauthorized but fun visit in 1961 before the Memorial was fully completed; it later opened to the public in May of 1962. Conspicuous in the new views is the re-vamped landing dock and handicapped ramps to the Memorial. Later this year they will begin the renovation of the Shrine Room -- the marble wall listing all the Arizona casualties will be taken down and completely cleaned and restored, including the correction of some misspellings and the addition of names left off the Memorial. The intent is to completely re-vamp the Memorial structures that have deteriorated in the salt air over the years. Once this is completed, I'll have some more photos to post!

The first photo shows the oil that is still leaking from the Arizona. The small "streak" at bottom center of the photo is a portion of the starboard No. 2 turret side. The second photo, taken at sunset, is a particularly nice view -- I live on the other side of the mountains in the background which explains why I'm not at Pearl Harbor all that often. The construction photo is interesting -- no hard hats, no life vests and bright yellow jerseys, no safety railings. Times have changed! These photos are all from the National Park Service.

28-05-2015, 00:18

Tug boat with hospital ship struck USS Arizona memorial
Staff report 6:29 p.m. EDT May 27, 2015

A tug boat that was maneuvering the hospital ship Mercy collided with the iconic USS Arizona Memorial Wednesday morning in Pearl Harbor, damaging the site's dock, according to news reports.

The Honolulu Star Advertiser reports that the memorial's dock was closed to visitors Wednesday due to the collision at 7:30 a.m. local time and that divers would inspect the damages.

The hospital ship Mercy is based in San Diego. The Military Sealift Command ship is crewed by a civilian mariners and led by a civilian master; it also has a medical treatment facility on board, which is led by a Navy commanding officer.

Navy Region Hawaii said a damage assessment and investigation is underway into the cause of the collision.

"Initial reports indicated that a tug boat hit the Memorial, but an investigation is underway," Navy Region Hawaii said in a Wednesday post on their official Facebook page. "White boat passenger traffic onto the memorial has to be suspended as we assess the full extent of damage and can ensure the safety of visitors. In the meantime, the white boat tours of Pearl Harbor continue from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center without the ability to disembark passengers aboard the USS Arizona Memorial."

The ship is in Pearl Harbor for the annual Pacific Partnership operation.

The spouse of an eyewitness told Military.com that her husband heard metal crunching as the tug struck the landing dock.


UPDATED: Tug Moving U.S. Navy Hospital Ship Struck USS Arizona Memorial
By: Sam LaGrone
May 27, 2015 6:21 PM • Updated: May 27, 2015 7:02 PM

A tugboat pushing a U.S. Navy hospital ship may have struck the USS Arizona Memorial on Wednesday, the service said this afternoon.

The tug was pushing the hospital ship USNS Mercy (TAH-19) early morning Hawaii time when the incident occurred, a Navy official told USNI News.

The incident occurred around 7:30 A.M. Hawaii time on Wednesday, USNI News understands.

“Initial reports indicated that a tugboat hit the Memorial, but an investigation is underway,” read the statement.
“White boat passenger traffic onto the memorial has to be suspended as we assess the full extent of damage and can ensure the safety of visitors.”

A spokesman for Navy Region Hawaii was unable to provide additional detail when contacted by USNI News.

30-05-2015, 10:36
The Tuesday accident that damaged the floating dock of the USS Arizona Memorial did not damage the sunken World War II battleship on which 1,177 sailors and Marines died in the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Navy said late Thursday.

U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH-19), which likely collided with the dock when transiting near the memorial, did not suffer obvious damage, according to the combined statement from the U.S. Coast Guard, Military Sealift Command, the National Park Service and Navy Region Hawaii.

The iconic white memorial suffered minor damage.

The service is still unsure how the dock was damaged and the Coast Guard and the Military Sealift Command are mounting investigations.

According to the statement:

“Mercy was being maneuvered by two tugboats to transit Pearl Harbor from its berth at Hotel Pier as it prepared to go to sea. As the Mercy turned to head out to the channel, the ship may have made contact with the floating dock leading to the USS Arizona Memorial. Strong prop wash from the ship pushed the floating dock and access structure (brow) approximately ten feet toward the memorial, damaging handrails and the dock’s infrastructure.”

Dave Hutson
30-05-2015, 11:26
Thankyou Surfgun for the update. I am pretty sure we will hear more from Don Boyer in Hawaii idc.

Dave H