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When Japanese bombs sank the USS Arizona off the coast of Pearl Harbor in 1941, 1,177 of those onboard died. But what else did the US Navy lose? Here's a short history of the battleship's career prior to becoming a tragic icon of the Second World War.
Named to honor Arizona's 1912 admission the the US, it was launched in 1915 as one of two Pennsylvania-class super-dreadnought battleships.
The battleship wasn't deployed during World War One. When it finally crossed the Atlantic in 1919, it was to accompany President Woodrow Wilson to the Paris Peace Conference.
In 1933 an earthquake struck Long Beach, claiming 120 lives and destroying infrastructure. USS Arizona provided communications, first-aid, food, and shelter to the survivors.
Much of 1934's Here Comes the Navy was filmed aboard the USS Arizona. The romantic comedy was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, but lost to Frank Capra's It Happened One Night!
The tragic irony of the Arizona is how, after decades without a fight, it was tranferred to Pearl Harbor to counter Japan's Pacific ambitions. It was destroyed within weeks.
Tickets for the USS Arizona Memorial are in high demand. You'll need to book them 2 months or so in advance! Reserved tickets must be picked up an hour prior to the tour time. Unclaimed tickets are reissued to the public, but you'll have to arrive early to stand a chance of getting one!
USS Arizona Memorial tours start daily from 7:30AM and run until 3:00PM.
For a memorial, the USS Arizona is suprisingly relaxed in regards to a dress code. Bathing suits and profane t-shirts aren't allowed, but so long as you're wearing footwear, shorts, and a shirt then you'll be fine. If you happen to be in the military though, then you'll need to wear dress-whites or better!
- When should I visit?
- 7:30AM - 3:00PM
- Is it expensive?
- The ticket is free, but there is a $1.50 service charge for reserving online, which is highly recommended!
- Will I need a guide?
- How to get there
- Best to visit as part of a package tour which will bring you to the Pearl Harbor site in a private van. Otherwise, a city bus can take you there.
- Additional information
- If you plan to visit during the summer months, best reserve your tickets 6 months in advance!
What people are saying about USS Arizona Memorial
Everything about the visit was excellent. The people were nice and helpful, there was plenty to see, well managed, excellent opportunities to see more than just the USS Arizona. It was sobering but very grateful to honor these brave men and women who fight for our freedom. Nice to see the Bowfin and missiles, and other things on display, as well as all the informational legends. Kid friendly. I would add one improvement, and that is your website and reservation system.
Excellent audio tour as you walk around the grounds of the Memorial. However, the website needs to state that it does not include the movie nor the boat trip out to the Arizona. Those have to be bought separately from the audio tour and need to be secured ahead of time. We raced over from the airport on a flight delay and were told the Arizona tickets were sold out. It's unclear from the website what is included.
Activity itself was phenomenal and in formative, however the info and process on getting the boat tickets was cumbersome and we almost didn't get to go to the actual memorial. In the end after spending the whole day on the grounds we went but as individuals not as a family ...If you have young children that would not be an option
Loved it! And were able to walk right up. Only issue - the instructions said hours noon - 5:00 - but we found out too late the last shuttle went out across the water to the Memorial at about 3:30 - had we known we wouldn't have lingered in the museums so long and would have done those second instead of first.
It is hard to say that this is a great place to visit because of what happened, but I learned so much about what happened and the people that lost their lives And I so appreciate everything that all of these people did for our country. It is a very special place place to visit and I think everyone should!