Why is the USS Arizona Underwater?

The USS Arizona is the resting place to hundreds of sailors. The Navy decided to leave them and the ship there after an inspection a few months after the attack.  It was determined that there was so much damage that the ship was a total loss and could not be salvaged. Though, it should be noted that some parts from the Arizona were taken for use on other ships during WWII.

After deciding that the ship could not be salvaged, was not a navigation risk and would be left where she was, the Navy had a decision about what to do with the men who perished on board. It was decided that the men would be considered buried at sea because it would be too difficult to remove them in a respectful manner.

The decision to leave the USS Arizona underwater at the bottom of Pearl Harbor was made after much deliberation. The same decision was made for the USS Utah. The USS Oklahoma was similarly sunk in the attack, but raised and put in drydock in 1943.  In 1944, the USS Oklahoma was decommissioned. She eventually sunk to the bottom of the ocean as she was towed to the US mainland. All of the other ships sunk or damaged during the attack were returned to service.

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Category: 4. History

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