On December 7, 1941, when Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, eight battleships, three cruises and four destroyers were present in the harbor. Many precious lives were lost and the damage was irreversible like the sunken USS Arizona. There were also those that faced minor damage and returned Japanese fire. Book your Pearl Harbor tours today and visit all these ships & other memorials here!
We have brought you a list of the ships that were a part of Pearl Harbor tragedy:
USS Arizona (BB-39)
The USS Arizona is often the first thing that comes in mind of when we talk about the Pearl Harbor attack. The Japs had launched multiple torpedoes and bomb attacks on the mighty Pennsylvania-class battleship. She had ultimately sunk and now lies on the harbor floor. 1,177 members and crew of USS Arizona had lost their lives. When the attack started, her hull was breached and the oil that she had been loaded with for a trip to the US mainland has been continually leaking called as “Black Tears of the Arizona.”
USS Oklahoma (BB-37)
During the attack on Pearl Harbor, USS Oklahoma, a Nevada Class battleship had confronted twelve torpedoes launched against her. Nine of them had hit the target, as a result, causing holes in Oklahoma’s hull. The number of soldiers who lost their lives was 429. Commissioned in 1916, she along with her sister ship Nevada had been moored on battleship row and instead of being coal-fired like the USS Arizona they were oil-fired.
USS West Virginia (BB-48)
Commissioned in December 1923, USS West Virginia has been nicknamed out of affection as “Wee Vee”. In 1940, she was brought to Hawaii along with the US Pacific Fleet. She was outboard of USS Tennessee and when the attack took place most of the torpedo damage was faced by the outboard ships. As a result, nine torpedoes had hit her while Tennessee remained unscathed. The torpedo net was cleared just by one Japanese midget submarine.
USS California (BB-44)
USS California (BB-44) was launched in 1919. She was the flagship of the fleet and from 1921 until 1941 she carried that title for 20 years. She was nicknamed “alky barge”. USS California had been moored at the southernmost location on Ford Island’s Battleship Row on the morning of Pearl Harbor Attack which happened to be an imperiled position. However, as she did not have a ship moored next to her, she could fire her guns at attackers with no concern.
USS Nevada (BB-36)
Being the lead ship of the Nevada class battleships, Battleship USS Nevada (BB-36) along with her sister ship USS Oklahoma held a great position. It had weighed around 27,500 ton and was launched a year prior to the USS Arizona as the first super-dreadnaught, making her the eldest of the battleships at Pearl Harbor. During the WWI, she had fought in the Atlantic fleet and then in 1930 was moved to the Pacific Fleet. When the Pacific fleet moved from California in 1940, she was stationed at Pearl Harbor.
USS Maryland (BB-46)
As compared to the rest of the battleships, the USS Maryland has not received an equal amount of attention at Pearl Harbor. One can only guess, was it because it had the least amount of damage or that only 4 men were lost on it. But it doesn’t imply that at the time of the attack, Mary was inactive. She and her crew had been immensely helpful in evacuating the sailors who jumped on it from Oklahoma. Also, only after five minutes of the attack, Maryland fired back at the bombers.
USS Pennsylvania (BB-38)
On October 27, 1913, USS Pennsylvania (BB-28) was laid down at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company. She was dry-docked at Pearl Harbor and was scheduled to leave on December 6. However, her departure was delayed and consequently when the Japanese attacked the next day, she was among the first ships to counter with anti-aircraft fire. Even after Japanese tried to destroy the drydock’s caisson, she faced minimal damage at the time of the attack.
At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, out of the various US Navy vessels that were present there, it was the battleships that faced the most of the damage. And the USS Tennessee (BB-43) was one of those mighty vessels that had been perfectly present on the target of the Japanese bombers. During the WWII, Tennessee played a vital role in the victory of the United States Navy. However, it is not as popular or known as the USS Arizona.
Often called the “Mighty Mo”, USS Missouri is among the most celebrated warships of the US Navy. In the 20th century, she has left her impression on military and national history of the United States. The USS Missouri has been a spectator of the conquest of Americans for truth and justice. Whether it is its pompous construction, the participation in the numerous battles of World War II, the signing of the Japanese surrender or the important place it has received in movies, she has become a monument of American merit.
The USS Helm (DD-388) was launched on May 27th, 1937 at the Norfolk Navy Yard. Rear Admiral James Meredith Helm widow was the one who had sponsored it. After five months, the Bagley-class battleship under Lt. Comdr. P. H. Talbot was commissioned into the US Navy. The crew present at the USS Helm had been successful in taking down two Japanese aircraft or so it is believed. However, another important contribution at the time of the attack was on a Japanese midget submarine.
At the time of the attack, USS Utah was not even a full-fledged battleship but it was still a target of the Japanese pilots. 64 men lost their lives on the USS Utah and due to the fact that Utah was demilitarized, they weren’t even able to fight back.
USS Utah was a pre-WWI ship and it was meant to be demolished but they decided not to do it. She was demilitarized and transformed into a target ship.
The total number of aircraft that were destroyed or damaged was 350. All the 8 battleships of the U.S. Pacific Fleet were sunk or severely damaged. However, all of America’s aircraft carriers endured the attack. The scars of Pearl Harbor attack are still visible. Visit Pearl Harbor today & witness the WWII history and pay your respect and tribute to all those soldiers who lost their lives during this attack. Book your Pearl Harbor tours now!