USS Arizona Memorial

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Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor, land-locked harbor, on the southern coast of Oahu island, Hawaii, W of Honolulu; one of the largest and best natural harbors in the E Pacific Ocean. In the vicinity are many U.S. military installations, including Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam (a merger of U.S. Pacific naval station and Hickam Air Force Base) and Camp H. M. Smith, the headquarters of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

The United States first gained rights there in 1887, when the Hawaiian monarchy permitted a coaling and repair station. After the United States annexed Hawaii in 1900, Pearl Harbor was made a naval base. Harbor improvements and fortifications were later added, especially after the signing of the Berlin Pact in 1940 by the Axis nations.

On Dec. 7, 1941, while negotiations were going on with Japanese representatives in Washington, Japanese carrier-based planes swept in without warning over Oahu and attacked (7:55 A.M. local time) the bulk of the U.S. Pacific fleet, moored in Pearl Harbor. Nineteen naval vessels, including eight battleships, were sunk or severely damaged; 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed. Military casualties were 2,280 killed and 1,109 wounded; 68 civilians also died. On Dec. 8, the United States declared war on Japan.

There were many charges of negligence against those responsible for Pearl Harbor's defense. A special commission appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt accused the army and navy commanders at Hawaii of dereliction of duty in a report on Jan. 24, 1942. Later army and navy investigations concluded that no valid grounds existed for court-martial. A congressional committee, formed in Sept., 1945, absolved the army and navy commanders in a formal report on July 16, 1946, but censured the War Dept. and the Dept. of the Navy.

The Pearl Harbor National Memorial commemorates the Dec. 2, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, which brought the United States into World War II (see National Parks and Monuments, table). It includes the memorial built over the sunken hulk of the USS Arizona. Originally part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument (est. 2008), it became a separate unit in 2019. The battleship Missouri, site of Japan's surrender, is also preserved at Pearl Harbor.


See S. Twomey, Countdown to Pearl Harbor (2016).

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USS Arizona Memorial

Address:1 Arizona Memorial Pl
Honolulu, HI 96818

Size: 10.5 acres.
Established: Established on September 9, 1980.
Location:On the shoreline overlooking Pearl Harbor directly off HI 99 (Kamehameha Highway) on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.
Facilities:Rest rooms (é), restaurant/snacks, visitor center (é), museum/exhibit.
Activities:Guided tour.
Special Features:This 184-foot-long floating memorial marks the spot where the USS Arizona was sunk in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, during the Japanese attack. The memorial structure, spanning the mid-portion of the sunken battleship, consists of three main sections: the entry and assembly rooms; a central area designed for ceremonies and general observation; and the shrine room, where the names of those 1,177 crewmen killed on the USS Arizona are engraved on the marble wall.

See other parks in Hawaii.
Parks Directory of the United States, 5th Edition. © 2007 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Nearly 5500 gallons of Sherwin-Williams coatings were applied to the historic Battleship Missouri, which recently returned to her home pier near the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, HI.
The novel centres on the solution to a murder at the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Hawaii and involves thwarted ambitions a new-found romance a suppressed wartime secret of mistaken identity a hidden family secret of parental identity and a last-gasp pilgrimage of reparation for the attack on Pearl.
It is a solemn eight - the stark U.S.S. Arizona Memorial standing over the hull of the sunken battleship in Pearl Harbor.