Oklahoma (BB-37), Pearl Harbor Victim, Soon Will Be Sold for Scrap
The battleship Oklahoma, which lay at the bottom of Pearl Harbor 10 minutes after the Japanese attack on 7 December 1941, is to be sold for scrap. Whether "Okie" will be towed to San Francisco and sold there, or disposed of here, has not yet been decided. Pacific Fleet, headquarters estimates that it will take 30 days and cost $20,000 to tow the old hulk to the coast.
The Oklahoma now lies among a graveyard fleet of more than 30 decommissioned ships in the quiet backwaters of Pearl Harbor.
So far as old salts can remember, the Oklahoma never fired a shot in anger in two wars. The 29,000-ton battleship had an uneventful career in the North Sea in the first World War. In the second World War, she never had a chance.
The Navy never revealed how many men died when the Oklahoma went down, but the 30-year-old battleship contributed more than her share of the 1,500 Pearl Harbor dead. Other battleships, including the ancient Nevada (BB-36), which survived two atomic bombs at Bikini, lived to fight again, but not the Oklahoma. For two years she lay in mud at the bottom of Pearl Harbor. Resurrected two years later, she was salvaged and towed to the graveyard. There she lies today stripped of guns and glory, her super-structure gone, brooding over things that might have been.
Bremerton Sun photo submitted by Joe MacDonald.
Text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
Text by Evening Star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, 11 August 1946, Image 4, courtesy of chroniclingamerica.loc.gov
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