Salvaged Artifacts from Pearl Harbor
March 20, 2016
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, sinking a number of ships. To honor those lost, none of the ships have ever been resurfaced or removed from the harbor, but some salvaged artifacts have made their way to the surface.
Even today, people are still finding artifacts from the ships that sank on December 7, 1941, and they are continually making their way out into the world. Most of the artifacts recovered from the USS Arizona have been returned to the ship’s namesake state and can be found on display there.
Here are a few of those artifacts and where you can see them today.
One of the bells from the USS Arizona was taken from the sunken ship. This salvaged artifact was one of two bells on the ship at the time, and it weighs 1,820 pounds.
Today this bell can be found at the University of Arizona. Housed in the campus’s bell tower, this bell is rung every time the football team wins a game.
The Superstructure, Flag and Silverware
IF you happen to be visiting Phoenix, Arizona, stop by the Arizona State Capitol Museum and see a few more artifacts from the USS Arizona.
On the first floor of the museum, you can visit a 500-pound superstructure – a large piece of the USS Arizona – as well as the original flag that flew on the day the ship sank. You can also see pieces of the original silverware set that was used on the ship. The set was first donated in 1919 by the citizens of Arizona. Fifty-nine pieces of the set can now be found on display.
Anchor, Mast and Gun Barrel
If you’re planning to stay in the Phoenix area, you must make a stop at the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza. Many of the salvaged artifacts were officially dedicated on December 7, 1990, to mark the 49th anniversary of the attack.
Today you can visit the 26-foot mast that now stands in the plaza. This piece was originally taken from the ship and brought here to be dedicated. You can also visit the restored anchor from the ship. It weighs a whopping 16,000 pounds.
The plaza is also home to two restored gun barrels. One came from the USS Arizona in 2013, and it was dedicated on Pearl Harbor day that year. The other barrel is actually from the USS Missouri, which is still docked in Pearl Harbor today. The Arizona barrel weighs 70 tons and measures 55 feet in length.
Tips for visiting these salvaged artifacts
Though these salvaged artifacts are a long way from Pearl Harbor, it is definitely worth visiting them to learn more about Pearl Harbor and visit lovely Phoenix. If you’re planning a trip to Arizona, keep these simple travel tips in mind.
– Check visiting hours ahead of time so you will have plenty of time to look at each artifact
– Always pack light
– Wear comfortable shoes, preferably socks and sneakers for ultimate comfort
– Feel free to take pictures, but be respectful of the monument
So tell us, which artifacts from the USS Arizona would you most like to see? Share with us in the comments!