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Virtual Earth map of The USS Arizona during the Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941

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On December 7, 1941, Japanese forces attacked the American Fleet at Pearl Harbor and surrounding military bases. The USS Arizona was a berth F7 alongside Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. The USS Vestal was tided outboard of the USS Arizona. The Japanese attack began at approximately 7:55am and the USS Arizona along with the other battleships on Battleship Row became the main targets. The men of the USS Arizona went to general quarters and began to return anti-aircraft fire at the Japanese attackers. At approximately 8:06am a formation of Japanese high altitude bombers appeared over Battleship Row flying in a V-formation. The first flight to drop bombs on the USS Arizona was from the Japanese Aircraft Carrier Kaga. This flight scored one hit that ricocheted off of turret number four piercing the deck and exploding in the Captain's pantry. It is possible that this flight also scored two hits on the port side anti-aircraft deck. The second flight appeared approximately four minutes later and these planes were from the Japanese Aircraft Carrier Hiryu. These planes also flew in a V-formation over Battleship Row. A bomb hit from this flight penetrated the deck just forward of turret two on the starboard side. The detonation of this bomb ignited the forward powder magazine causing a massive explosion that destroyed the ship. This explosion and ensuing fire would claim the lives of 1177 men of the USS Arizona.



 

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