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USS Arizona Chronology Events

December 7, 1941

Japanese aircraft attack the US fleet at Pearl Harbor. The USS Arizona takes a direct hit and is sunk with 1,104 personnel losing their lives. The ship is left submerged at Pearl Harbor.

1937-1939

The battleship spends the bulk of her time sailing up and down the Pacific Coast, with one brief trip to Hawaii in mid-1938.

March 1931

The newly modernized and recommissioned USS Arizona hosts President Herbert Hoover on a cruise to the Caribbean, visiting both Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

1925

The USS Arizona begins the year anchored at San Pedro. The battleship engages in gunnery practice with other ships along the southern California coast through April. Later that month, the ship heads to Honolulu with the Battle Fleet, arriving on April 28 and sails back to the United States in June, spending time in San Francisco and Washington state. She returns to southern California in September, anchored at San Pedro through the end of the year.

April-June, 1919

The USS Arizona makes the voyage to Brest, France. She stays anchored there for two weeks. Rather than participating in escorting the President back to the United States as originally planned, a decision is made to send the ship to the Mediterranean Sea to monitor the conflict occurring between Greece and Turkey. The ship sails back to Gibraltar where she stays docked until June 20.

February 4-8, 1919

The USS Arizona sails to Cuba, alternating her location between Guantanamo Bay and Port of Spain, Trinidad. The ship participates in drills, exercises and tactical maneuvers with the USS Mississippi and other battleships.

December 18-23, 1916

The ship is anchored at Chesapeake Bay. She fires her 5-inch guns for the first time on December 19 and her 14-inch guns for the first time on December 23.

March 16, 1914

The keel, a long band of steel that extends from one end of the ship's floor to the other, for the USS Arizona is laid in the New York Navy Yard. Franklin Delano Roosevelt is in attendance as Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

November 24-29, 1916

The ship sails for the first time to Cuba and is anchored at Guantanamo Bay through December 12, whereupon it returns to the East Coast.

June 19, 1915

The USS Arizona is launched by the New York Navy Yard. Arizona native Esther Ross, chosen for the honor of naming the ship at the time of the launching, was accompanied at the launching by Arizona Governor George W. P. Hunt and other Arizona delegates. Miss Ross was the daughter of a prominent Arizona businessman. She used a bottle of champagne and a bottle of water to christen the ship. This was controversial because the use of water to christen a new ship was considered a bad omen by many sailors, but it was done to appease those who sided with Prohibition. The event drew an estimated 50,000-75,000 spectators.

October 22, 1941

The USS Oklahoma collides with the USS Arizona, causing damage and necessitating a lengthier stay in Pearl Harbor than anticipated.

March 16, 1914

The keel, a long band of steel that extends from one end of the ship's floor to the other, for the USS Arizona is laid in the New York Navy Yard. Franklin Delano Roosevelt is in attendance as Assistant Secretary of the Navy.

June 19, 1915

The USS Arizona is launched by the New York Navy Yard. Arizona native Esther Ross, chosen for the honor of naming the ship at the time of the launching, was accompanied at the launching by Arizona Governor George W. P. Hunt and other Arizona delegates. Miss Ross was the daughter of a prominent Arizona businessman. She used a bottle of champagne and a bottle of water to christen the ship. This was controversial because the use of water to christen a new ship was considered a bad omen by many sailors, but it was done to appease those who sided with Prohibition. The event drew an estimated 50,000-75,000 spectators.

To Christen Super-Dreadnought

October 17, 1916

The USS Arizona was moored at the New York Navy Yard. Rear Admiral Nathaniel R. Usher, USN, puts the USS Arizona into commission and Captain John D. McDonald is named the ship’s first commander in chief.

November 10, 1916

The USS Arizona makes its maiden voyage en route to Hampton Roads, Virginia, a Navy port on the East Coast. Arizona joined the Atlantic Fleet following her "shakedown cruise," which is when the performance of a ship is tested.

November 24-29, 1916

The ship sails for the first time to Cuba and is anchored at Guantanamo Bay through December 12, whereupon it returns to the East Coast.

November 18, 1918

The USS Arizona sails from Hampton Roads, VA, to join the Naval Forces in British waters.

December 18-23, 1916

The ship is anchored at Chesapeake Bay. She fires her 5-inch guns for the first time on December 19 and her 14-inch guns for the first time on December 23.

Sailors Running Gun Firing Drills on Deck of USS Arizona

December 12, 1918

The USS Arizona departs Portsmouth, England, to assist the ocean liner, SS George Washington, in escorting President Woodrow Wilson to Brest, France for the Paris Peace Conference.

December 14-25, 1918

The USS Arizona returns to the United States, where it is moored in the North River, in New York City.

February 4-8, 1919

The USS Arizona sails to Cuba, alternating her location between Guantanamo Bay and Port of Spain, Trinidad. The ship participates in drills, exercises and tactical maneuvers with the USS Mississippi and other battleships.

Practice landing

April 9-12, 1919

The ship leaves Cuba and while en route to Hampton Roads, it immediately sails the Atlantic for Brest, France to participate in escorting President Wilson home from Europe.

April-June, 1919

The USS Arizona makes the voyage to Brest, France. She stays anchored there for two weeks. Rather than participating in escorting the President back to the United States as originally planned, a decision is made to send the ship to the Mediterranean Sea to monitor the conflict occurring between Greece and Turkey. The ship sails back to Gibraltar where she stays docked until June 20.

January 19, 1921

The USS Arizona crosses through the Panama Canal for the first time.

USS Arizona postcard

June 30, 1919

The ship returns to New York and stays there until mid-January of the following year.

January 24, 1921

The USS Arizona crosses the equator for the first time. In recognition of this occasion and in accordance with long standing naval tradition, various "initiation" rites for the new recruits take place on the ship, known as the Neptunus Rex or Crossing the Line ceremonies.

February 23, 1921

The USS Arizona transits through the Panama Canal on its way back to Cuba. The battleship participates in a variety of exercises, including torpedo practice and tactical maneuvers.

August 1921

The ship joins the Pacific Fleet, anchoring at various ports along the California coast with San Pedro as her new home base in Southern California.

July 1923

President Warren G. Harding reviews the ship while she is anchored in Seattle. Upon his death the following month, the ship half-masts her colors and joins other ships in firing a salute the deceased president.

1925

The USS Arizona begins the year anchored at San Pedro. The battleship engages in gunnery practice with other ships along the southern California coast through April. Later that month, the ship heads to Honolulu with the Battle Fleet, arriving on April 28 and sails back to the United States in June, spending time in San Francisco and Washington state. She returns to southern California in September, anchored at San Pedro through the end of the year.

March 1931

The newly modernized and recommissioned USS Arizona hosts President Herbert Hoover on a cruise to the Caribbean, visiting both Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

President Hoover and Secretary of Navy Hurley

March 10, 1933

An earthquake hits Long Beach, CA. The USS Arizona's crew assist in relief efforts for the survivors.

March 1934

“Here Comes the Navy,” a feature film starring James Cagney, is filmed on board the USS Arizona.

May 19, 1936

The USS Arizona crosses the equator for the second time and another round of Crossing the Line ceremonies takes place.

1937-1939

The battleship spends the bulk of her time sailing up and down the Pacific Coast, with one brief trip to Hawaii in mid-1938.

April 21, 1941

The USS Arizona accidentally collides with the destroyer, USS Davis, while the Davis is re-fueling.

July 1940

The USS Arizona crosses the equator for a third and final time, visiting Christmas Island and Jarvis Island. More “crossing the line” ceremonies take place.

October 22, 1941

The USS Oklahoma collides with the USS Arizona, causing damage and necessitating a lengthier stay in Pearl Harbor than anticipated.

December 7, 1941

Japanese aircraft attack the US fleet at Pearl Harbor. The USS Arizona takes a direct hit and is sunk with 1,104 personnel losing their lives. The ship is left submerged at Pearl Harbor.

Mast of USS Arizona Engulfed in Flames during Pearl Harbor Attack