The Pennsylvania-class battleships, of the United States Navy were an enlargement of the Nevada class; having two additional 14-inch (356 mm) 45-caliber main battery guns , greater length and displacement, four propelers and slightly higher speed. They also had a relatively large secondary battery of 5-inch (127 mm) 51-caliber guns, which was soon reduced when many of the guns' locations proved prone to wetness.
The USS Arizona (BB.39) was laid down in March 1914, launched in June1915 and commissioned in October 1916. She crossed the Atlantic to serve with the 6th Sguadron as part of the British Grand Fleet in the last days of World War I, and then helped to repatriate American soldiers from France. In 1929-31 she was modernized, and on 7 December 1941 was part of the Pacific Fleet, lying in 'Battleship Row' in Pearl Harbor. Her peacetime service had been humdrum. After a short trip to the Mediterranean in April-July 1919 she returned to the East coast, and then transferred to the Pacific Fleet in 1921 for a period of eight years. In 1929 she returned to Norfolk to start her modernization, and on recommissiomng took President Hoover on a cruise to the West Indies before passing through the Panama Canal on her way back to the Pacific Fleet. There she remained for the rest of her life.
The first wave of Japanese aircraft to reach Pearl Harbor on 7 December had no difficulty in identifying their targets, for 'Battleship Row' contained seven ships: USS Oklahoma, USS West Virginia and the repair ship USS Vestal in the outer line, and USS Maryland, USS Tennessee, the Arizona and USS Nevada in the inner line. A torpedo and an estimated eight bombs hit the Arizona, setting her on fire and starting a massive flooding. The bomb which did most damage was a 725-kg (1,600- lb) weapon which struck at 08,10, penetrated the armoured deck and detonated in the forward magazine. The ship blew up and sank at her moorings, trapping and killing a total of 1,104 of her crew, including Rear Admiral Kidd and Captain van Valkenburgh.
Salvage teams tried to raise the hull, but it was damaged beyond repair. Subsequently two of the Arizona's triple 356-mm (14-in) turrets were recovered and the guns were installed in coast defence positions on land. The hull of the Arizona was later declared a national shrine commemorating the men and ships lost in the attack. Today a concrete memorial has been built over the Arizona's remains, and an oil lick shows that oil is still leaking slowly from her fuel tanks.
The sister of the Arizona, USS Pennsylvania (BB.38) was in dry dock at the time and suffered only superficial damage from a single bomb hit. After repairs and modernization she rejoined the Pacific Fleet and saw action across the Pacific, through to the Japanese surrender in August 1945.
Displacement: 32,600 tons standard, 36,500 tons full load
Dimensions: length 185.32 m (608 ft); beam 29.56 m (97 ft); draught 8.76 m (28 ft 9 in)
Machinery: 4-shaft geared steam turbines delivering 33,500 shp(24980 kW)
Armour: belt 356 mm (14 in); deck 203 mm (8 in); turrets 229-457 mm (9-18 in)
Armament: 12 356-mm (14-in), 12 127-mm (5-in), 12 127-mm (5-in) AA and eight 12.7-mm(0.5-in) AAguns
Aircraft: three floatplanes
Complement: 2,290 officers and men