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NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive

BB-39 Arizona
1938 - December 6, 1941


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Pennsylvania Class Battleship: Displacement 31,400 Tons, Dimensions, 608' 6" (oa) x 97' 1" x 29' 10" (Max). Armament 12 x 14"/45 14 x 5"/51, 4 x 3"/50 2 x 21" tt. Armor, 13 1/2" Belt, 18" Turrets, 3" +2" Decks, 16" Conning Tower. Machinery, 34,000 SHP; Geared Turbines, 4 screws. Speed, 21 Knots, Crew 915.

Operational and Building Data: Laid down by New York Naval Ship Yard, March 16, 1914. Launched June 19, 1915. Commissioned October 17, 1916. Decommissioned (War Loss). Stricken December 1, 1942.
Fate: Sunk by Japanese aircraft during attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, December 7 1941. Arizona still rests in the berth where she sank. A Monument to her crew was built over the wreck in 1962. 1,177 Officers and Men were lost with the ship and remain on duty inside her rusting hulk. The wreck is still bleeding fuel oil, more than 70 years after her sinking.

In Memorium:

In the Second Book of Shmuel (Samuel), 22nd chapter, 5th through the 19th verses, translated from the original in Hebrew and published by the Koren Publishers of Jerusalem, Israel, can perhaps aptly describe the fate of the crew and all other U.S.sailors who died defending their county:

"When the waves of death compassed me / the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; / the bonds of She'ol encircled me; / the snares of death took me by surprise; / in my distress I called upon the Lord, / and cried to my G-D: / and he heard my voice out of his temple, / and my cry entered into his ears. / Then the earth shook and trembled; /the foundations of heaven moved / and shook because of his anger /...the heavy mass of waters, and thick clouds of the skies /... And the channels of the sea appeared, / the foundations of the world were laid bare, / at the rebuking of the Lord, at the blast at the breath of his nostrils. / He sent from above, he took me; / he drew me out of many waters; / he delivered me from my strong enemy, and from those who hated me; for they were too strong for me. / They surprised me in the day of my calamity: / but the Lord was my stay..."
Dante's Prayer courtesy of Loreena McKennitt via quinlanroad.com.
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BB-39 Arizona1.10kArizona (BB-39) passing Alcatraz Island in the late 1930's flying the flag of a rear admiral as Flagship Battle Force.USN photo courtesy Pieter Bakels.
BB-39 Arizona239k Spotting planes were carried by all U.S. Battleships. These "eyes of the fleet" float planes greatly extended the effective range of the main battery. This rendering shows the Arizona's (BB-39) 3 SOC float planes circa 1938. They are units of VO (Observation Squadron) One. Text & drawing by Alan E. Chesley, courtesy of Leeward Publications.
BB-39 Arizona814kCurtiss SOC's being placed aboard the Arizona (BB-39). LOC Photo # 5948042830_6d7ac203e2_o courtesy of David Valenzuela's Battleship Arizona Book Pics via flickr.com.
BB-39 Arizona524kCurtiss SOC on Arizona's (BB-39) catapult with a Lexington (CV-2/3) class carrier in the background. LOC Photo # 5947495971_7e3a8ff3cf_o courtesy of David Valenzuela's Battleship Arizona Book Pics via flickr.com.
BB-39 Arizona30kCurtiss SOC's on Arizona's (BB-39) fantail in the late 1930's. USN photo courtesy Pieter Bakels.
BB-39 Arizona372kNo turret catapult visible, but there is a float plane near the top rear turret. US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
BB-39 Arizona145kOne of Arizona's (BB-39) float planes flies past her after being launched from her fantail as another is being made ready on the turret catapult. USN photo courtesy of David Buell.
BB-39 Arizona195k31,000 plus tons of Arizona (BB-39) drive through the sea in the later 1930s.USN photo from the collection of Andy Small (USNA '83) courtesy of Charles Landrum LCDR, USN (Ret.)USNA '83. Scanned from a sold print at the US Naval Academy Museum marked "Deaccessioned, Remove from USNI Collection."
BB-39 Arizona53kArizona (BB-39) in rough seas. Photo stamped "received 14 April 1938"; the back caption originally indicated the ship as Pennsylvania (BB-38), but her sister-ship had a distinctive taller conning tower. USN / USNI photo.
BB-39 Arizona362kArizona (BB-39) coming into drydock. US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
BB-39 Arizona445kDrydock not yet pumped dry, the crew of the Arizona (BB-39) are very likely scraping barnacles.
It would seem that rather than drain the dock and set up scaffolding, all hand have been put over the side into many flat bottom boats and the hull is being scraped by the crew as the water level is slowly lowered in the dock exposing more hull.
Text i.d. courtesy of Chuck Haberlein & Chris Hoen.
US Navy photo courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
BB-39 Arizona815kStern view of the Arizona (BB-39) in dry dock; workmen on the propellers with crewmen looking from the deck. LOC Photo # 5948047026_9765a512c1_o courtesy of David Valenzuela's Battleship Arizona Book Pics via flickr.com.
BB-39 Arizona79k The following 2 photographs appeared in this article.
This story was in the Hawaii Navy News Online (Volume 27, Issue 24-June 21, 2002) "Spring cleaning reveals lost Arizona (BB-39) photos."
BREMERTON, Wash. - You never know what will turn up during spring cleaning - a long-forgotten childhood toy, an old suit you wish you had forgotten or, as was the case at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, some old photographs that shed new light on a chapter from a part of naval history.
Arizona was at Puget Sound Navy Yard in 1938 for overhaul, but early records are vague. Until now, the historical archives had no information on the specific work done on Arizona during its overhaul here.
The photographs show a turret being lifted from the ship to a temporary foundation. A battleship pier was located directly under the hammerhead crane (built in 1932-33) with a lifting capacity of 250 tons. There are numerous photos in the shipyard photo archives that show the hammerhead crane lifting large armament from the capital ships, but this is the first time that photos have shown the lifting of turrets. This photo shows the bow view above deck portion of the turret and its 3 x 14"/45 guns. Photos are dated 23 May 1938.
USN photo contributed by Mike Green.
BB-39 Arizona108k The slow process of swinging tons of armored steel out from the ship has begun. USN photo contributed by Mike Green.
Text courtesy of ibiblio.org via Bill Gonyo.
BB-39 Arizona117k Turret #4 being lowered into a temporary foundation for transport. USN photo & text courtesy of ibiblio.org via Bill Gonyo.
BB-39 Arizona51k On 17 September 1938, Arizona (BB-39) became the flagship for Battleship Division 1, when Rear Admiral Chester W. Nimitz (later to become Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet) broke his flag on board. Detached 27 May 1939 to become Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, Nimitz was relieved on that day by Rear Admiral Russell Willson.
Rear Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and Rear Admiral Russell Willson, USN, are shown during the change of Command Ceremonies on Arizona, 26 May 1939.
USN / USNI photo.
Text courtesy of DANFS.
BB-39 Arizona225k Stern view of the Arizona (BB-39) with a lot of signal flags fluttering while maneuvering at sea 1939-40.
Note the biplanes overhead and the range clock on her stern tripod.
USN / USNI photo.
BB-39 Arizona 3.09k Five page booklet of Arizona (BB-39) general plans following her last rebuild at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, April 1939.
Ships information and Inboard Profile, Outboard profile, superstructure decks and tripod platforms, Main Deck, Forecastle deck (AKA upper deck), and boat deck (AKA Superstructure Deck), Second Deck, Third Deck, First Platform, Second Platform, Hold, and Double bottom.
Source: NARA II, College Park, Maryland.
PDF submitted by Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large.
BB-39 Arizona43k Arizona's (BB-39) Maintop that housed the MK.20 Main Battery Director. The middle level was for Main battery Spotting and the lower Level housed the Secondary Battery Directors. USN photo courtesy Pieter Bakels.
BB-39 Arizona1.00k Arizona's (BB-39) Main Battery. USN photo courtesy Pieter Bakels.
BB-39 Arizona658k Arizona's (BB-39) Flag Hoist. USN photo courtesy Pieter Bakels.
BB-39 Arizona421kU.S. FLAGSHIP ON WHICH PLOT IS REPORTED.SAN. PEDRO.CAL.
THIS IS A VIEW OF THE BATTLESHIP ARIZONA (BB-39) ON WHICH ALL LEAVES OF THE SAILORS WERE CANCELLED TODAY, REPORTEDLY BECAUSE OF THE DISCOVERY OF EVIDENCE OF A SABOTAGE PLOT AGAINST THE WARSHIP. NAVAL AUTHORITIES DECLINE TO COMMENT ON A REPORT THAT THERE HAS BEEN A PLAN TO DAMAGE THE FLAGSHIP WHICH IS SHOWN HERE AT ANCHOR IN LOS ANGELES HARBOR. THE ARIZONA IS REAR ADMIRAL RUSSEL WILSON'S FLAGSHIP OF BATTLE DIVISION 1.
Photo courtesy of Tommy Trampp.
BB-39 Arizona1.02kArizona (BB-39) at Seattle in 1940. USN photo courtesy Pieter Bakels.
BB-40 New Mexico & family463kProbable front and rear photos here and below showing formations of aircraft flying over U.S. Navy battleships during exercises at sea, circa late 1930's - 1940.
Pictured here is a New Mexico (BB-40 /42) class battleship in the van with other battleships of the Pacific Fleet and a carrier air group, led by the Air Group Commander in a Curtiss SBC Helldiver.
The aircraft following are:
A torpedo squadron of eighteen Douglas TBD-1s;
A bombing squadron of eighteen Northrop BT-1s;
A scouting squadron eighteen Curtiss SBCs;
A fighting squadron of eighteen Grumman F2F-1s or F3F-3s from either the Yorktown (CV-5) or F3F-2s from the Enterprise (CV-6), plus possibly nine additional aircraft.
The Yorktown and Enterprise were the only two carriers whose bombing squadrons were equipped with the Northrop BT-1.
The text for the photo reads:
"The Navy uses enormous amounts of rubber. At least seventy-five tons of rubber, enough to makes 17,000 tires, are used in the construction of each of these battleships. Tons more are needed for the naval planes that are making history over the world. Medical and communication requirements--and countless other needs of the Navy--are met."
The lead BB looks like Mississippi (BB-41) followed by Maryland (BB-46) (rangefinder on Turret II). My first impression of the Tennessee class (BB-43 /44) is the Tennessee (BB-43), but that is not a certain ID from this photo alone. Fourth is the Oklahoma (BB-37) (no birdbath). Aside from the DD now in the lead, I see nothing in the head-on shot aerial that positively differs from the ID's of the first 4 BB's in the first photo. Of course, in the aft aerial shot, BB #5 is the California (BB-44), ID'd by the enlarged flag bridge, lending support to BB #3 in the first photo being Tennessee. Everything I see supports these three photos all being part of the same operation with at least the first 5 BB's remaining in the same order.
Photograph # LC-USE64 - DC-000944 & partial text courtesy of memory.loc.gov.
Battleship i.d. & text courtesy of Richard Jensen.
Aircraft i.d. & text & timeline courtesy of Alan Moore via the following sources: Airplane i.d.: Yorktown Class Carriers (Warship Pictorial No. 9) by Steve Wiper, Tucson, AZ: Classic Warships Publishing, 2000. & That Gallant Ship: U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-5) by Robert Cressman, Missoula, MT: Pictorial Histories Pub Co, 1985. Timeline from Battleship Arizona: An Illustrated History by Paul Stillwell, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1991.
BB-40 New Mexico & family1.62kProbable front and rear photos here and above showing formations of aircraft flying over U.S. Navy battleships during exercises at sea, circa late 1930's - 1940.
In both photos, one of the New Mexico (BB-40 / 42) is leading the BB column while the remaining battleships have dual masthead fire control structures.
The air group formation in the two photos appears to be similar. The composition of 18 TBDs, 18 BT-1s, 18 SBCs, and 27 fighters is easier to distinguish in the front/surface view. I'm assuming, based on total aircraft count alone, that the formation in the rear/aerial view is the same. (The perspective makes it difficult to sort the monoplanes and biplanes into their respective types.) The only difference is that in the front/surface view the formation is lead by a Curtiss SBC Helldiver (likely the Air Group Commander) but in the rear/aerial view that lead Helldiver is not present. I suppose it's possible that the photographer was in that Helldiver's rear seat. What stands out for me is the presence of nine extra fighters beyond the normal squadron composition of 18, as seen in the other three squadrons in this formation.
Photo i.d courtesy of Chuck Haberlein, Richard Jensen, Aryeh Wetherhorn, & Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large.
Battleship i.d. & text courtesy of Richard Jensen.
Aircraft i.d. & text courtesy of Alan Moore.
US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo No. 2008.104.001.234.
BB-39 Arizona1.31kBetween 9 September 1940 - 13 September 1940 the Arizona (BB-39) was under way with other ships of the US Fleet for simulated fleet engagement. She is pictured here in company with the New Mexico (BB-40) & West Virginia (BB-48). US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No. 2008.104.001.235 courtesy of Alan Moore.
Text & photo i.d. courtesy of Alan Moore via Battleship Arizona: An Illustrated History by Paul Stillwell, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1991.
BB-39 Arizona367kColumn Right!
Arizona (BB-39), New Mexico (BB-40) & West Virginia (BB-48) and other ships of the Pacific Fleet taken during Fleet Ops in October 1940.
This photo and the following five are more than likely from the LIFE issue of 28 October 1940: "The Navy: LIFE Goes into Action with the U.S. Fleet".
One of the introductory paragraphs reads as follows:
"To show itself to the American people, the U.S. Navy has co-operated with LIFE in this issue. LIFE photographers and reporters examined naval schools, ammunition depots, bases, destroyers, battleships, the War College, etc. Finally a LIFE crew sailed on the U.S. Fleet maneuvers last month off Pearl Harbor in mid-Pacific."
US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No. 2008.104.001.235 courtesy of Alan Moore.
Text & photo i.d. courtesy of Alan Moore via Battleship Arizona: An Illustrated History by Paul Stillwell, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1991 & "The Navy: LIFE Goes into Action with the U.S. Fleet". Life. New York: Time, Inc., Vol 9 No 18 (28 October 1940). p23.
BB-39 Arizona54kFirst (not pictured here)of three photos with the caption "The enemy is sighted off right. Swiftly the battleships New Mexico (BB-40) and Arizona (BB-39) change direction."
The second photo (here) has the caption: "Wheeling into new position of line abreast, battleships move slowly while other ships speed into position."
Appended is the text that appeared on the photo credits page of that issue.
Carl Mydans, LIFE’s photo-reporter who roamed battlefields in Finland and France from September 1939 to June 1940, now turns his lens on the U. S. Navy (see pp. 23—97). During one month with the Fleet in the Pacific, Mydans took pictures aboard a battleship, a cruiser, a destroyer, a submarine, a hospital ship and a repair ship. Mydans also spent some time in the brig of the Indianapolis (CA-35).
Early one morning he had climbed onto a platform over the Admiral’s bridge, when a gust of wind blew sunshade and filter from his Zeiss Super-Ikonta camera. They fell near Vice Admiral Adolphus Andrews, commander of the Scouting Force. After lunch Mydans was served with a paper charging him with “willfully, maliciously and without justifiable cause” assaulting and attempting to strike with a dangerous weapon of German manufacture one Adolphus Andrews, Vice Admiral. With mock solemnity he was taken to the brig and locked up. Few moments later the entire wardroom, from executive officer down, descended and peered through the grille at Prisoner Mydans. When each had enjoyed a good laugh, Mydans was set free.
Photo by Carl Mydans, Time, Inc, submitted courtesy Pieter Bakels. Text & photo i.d. courtesy of Alan Moore. "The Navy: LIFE Goes into Action with the U.S. Fleet". Life. New York: Time, Inc., Vol 9 No 18 (28 October 1940). p.28 & 29.
BB-39 Arizona496kThe third photo (here) is captioned:
"Battleships head directly toward the enemy over the horizon, ready to from line of battle either way."
Photo by Carl Mydans, Time, Inc, submitted courtesy Pieter Bakels. Text & photo i.d. courtesy of Alan Moore. "The Navy: LIFE Goes into Action with the U.S. Fleet". Life. New York: Time, Inc., Vol 9 No 18 (28 October 1940). p.28 & 29.
BB-39 Arizona249k A.A. Practice during Fleet Ops in October 1940.USN photo courtesy Pieter Bakels.
BB-39 Arizona43k Commence Firing! probably during Fleet Ops in October 1940. USN photo courtesy Pieter Bakels.
BB-39 Arizona35k Looking up at the mainmast probably during Fleet Ops in October 1940. USN photo courtesy Pieter Bakels.
BB-39 Arizona217kField Day aboard a Pacific Fleet Battle wagon. US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No. 2008.104.001.235 courtesy of Alan Moore.
BB-39 Arizona94kCaptain Harold Cecil Train was the Commanding Officer of the Arizona (BB-39) from 5 September 1940 to 5 February 1941. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress via Bill Gonyo.
BB-39 Arizona131kArizona (BB-39) with three YPs in the foreground... Probably December 1940 as there is work going on with her superstructure and the splinter shields have been constructed around her 5" guns but not been painted yet. USN Photo courtesy of Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large.
BB-39 Arizona2.02k Arizona (BB-39) passing under the Golden Gate Bridge, possibly for the last time. She does not yet have the MK 33 directors or the birdbath of her final configuration. Text & photo courtesy of USS-Arizona-BB39-Ships-Data, Norman Friedman, Arthur D. Baker, III. Arnold S. Lott, Robert F. Sumrall, via Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com.
Photo added 09/15/14.
BB-39 Arizona93kArizona (BB-39) at Puget Sound Navy Yard, 18 January 1941. The stern section of another battleship is visible in the background.USN Photo # 123-41 courtesy of Seattle NARA via Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large.
BB-39 Arizona79kVought OS2U "Kingfisher" float plane, of Observation Squadron One (VO-1) on a seaplane mat towed by Arizona (BB-39), while being recovered after a flight in the Hawaiian Operating area on the morning of 6 September 1941. The plane flown by Ensign Lawrence A. Williams. Rear-seat man was Radioman 3rd Class G.H. Lane, who is preparing to hook up the aircraft to the ship's crane for recovery. Note the plane's side number "1-O-3", with the ship's name below it.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-66108, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-39 Arizona70kVought OS2U "Kingfisher" float plane, of Observation Squadron One (VO-1) Taxi's along side Arizona (BB-39), after a flight in the Hawaiian Operating area, 6 September 1941. Pilot is Lieutenant-Commander Welton D. Rowley, Commanding Officer of VO-1. Rear-seat man, Radioman 2nd Class E.L. Higley, is preparing to go out on the plane's wing to hook up the aircraft to the battleship's crane for recovery. The plane is numbered "1-O-1".Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-66111, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-39 Arizona77kVought OS2U "Kingfisher" float plane, of Observation Squadron One (VO-1). Being recovered by Arizona (BB-39), after a flight in the Hawaiian Operating area on the morning of 6 September 1941. The pilot, Ensign Lawrence A. Williams, is holding the belt of his rear-seat man, Radioman 3rd Class G.H. Lane, who is hooking up the aircraft to the ship's crane for recovery.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-66109, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-39 Arizona87kVought OS2U "Kingfisher" float plane is lowered onto the after catapult of Arizona (BB-39), in the Hawaiian Operating area, 6 September 1941. Note details of the plane's float, the catapult and crew uniforms.Official U.S. Navy Photograph, USNHC # 80-G-66114, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.
BB-39 Arizona72k Arizona (BB-39) inboard profile, 1941. Photo and text courtesy of U.S. Battleships: An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman.
BB-39 Arizona259kThree dimensional cutaway of the Arizona (BB-39). Photo courtesy of unlimiteddetails.com .
BB-39 Arizona201kColor print of the Arizona (BB-39) with PBY 5-A Catalina's flying overhead as the ship nears Diamond Head, Hawaii. Photo contributed by Robert M. Cieri.
BB-39 Arizona 159k Damage on Arizona's (BB-39) port side blister following a collision with Oklahoma (BB-37) on the morning of 23rd October, 1941. Source: NARA College Park, Bureau of Ships General Correspondence files, submitted by Tracy White @ Researcher @ Large.
BB-39 Arizona98kOil on canvas painting by the artist Tom Freeman entitled "Arizona" showing the Arizona (BB-39) as she passes Diamond Head on 28 November 1941, with the Phelps (DD-360) in escort. Photo and text courtesy of oldgloryprints.com
BB-39 Arizona86kOil on canvas painting by the artist Tom Freeman entitled "Daybreak of Destiny", showing the Arizona (BB-39) moored and the Vestal (AR-4) at Pearl Harbor, December 1941. Signed by artist Tom Freeman, Capt. Jim Miller (Arizona's most senior surviving officer), and Don Stratton (one of the few who escaped from the forward part of the ship). Photo and text courtesy of usni.org
BB-39 Arizona682kOil on canvas painting by the artist Tom Freeman entitled "Last Mooring", showing the Arizona (BB-39) moored in front of the Nevada (BB-36) and behind the Oklahoma (BB-37). Photo and text courtesy of oldgloryprints.com
BB-39 Arizona1.00kScheduled to receive tender availability, Arizona (BB-39) took the repair ship Vestal (AR-4) along side on Saturday, the 6th.Text courtesy of DANFS.
LOC Photo # 5557443151_b748956c19_o courtesy of David Valenzuela's Battleship Arizona Book Pics via flickr.com.
BB-39 Arizona135kOil on canvas painting by the artist Wayne Scarpaci entitled "Come Into Port Greatly", showing the Arizona (BB-39) coming into Pearl Harbor for the last time. Photo and text courtesy of artbywayne.com

USS Arizona BB-39 History
View This Vessels DANFS History Entry
(Located On The Hazegray & Underway Web Site, This Is The Main Archive For The DANFS Online Project.)

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Ruth Campbell
Address: PO Box 14435, Tucson, AZ, 85732-4435
Phone: 520-529-7494
E-mail: rcmpbll@comcast.net


Note About Contacts.

The contact listed, Was the contact at the time for this ship when located. If another person now is the contact, E-mail me and I will update this entry. These contacts are compiled from various sources over a long period of time and may or may not be correct. Every effort has been made to list the newest contact if more than one contact was found.


Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway Battleship Pages By Andrew Toppan.
U.S.S. Arizona (BB-39) Web Site at the University Of Arizona
U.S.S. Arizona (BB-39)Facts by Lorraine E. Marks (Haislip)
Home of the Heros, U.S.S. Arizona

HyperWar Pacific Theater of Operations.
Pearl Harbor Attack: Commander Battle Force Action Report Naval Historical Center
Pearl Harbor: after the tours have gone. Courtesy of Paul Petosky
Back To The Main Photo IndexBack To The Battleship Photo Index Page


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