Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pearl Harbor 65th anniversary

As most of you know, today is the 65th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Numerous American battleships, destroyers and other vessels were destroyed in the water that Sunday morning as the United States entered World War II.

The West Virginia was among those battleships that the Japanese planes sunk that day.

65 years ago today

The West Virginia was anchored immediately to the outside of the U.S.S. Tennessee, which did not sink. Both the Tennessee and West Virginia were inundated by burning oil that escaped from the wreckage of the Arizona and flowed through the rest of the harbor. The Tennessee was trapped by the sunken West Virginia and could not escape, but kept its propellers operating all day just to push away the burning oil flowing towards it.

U.S.S. West Virginia in the forefront with U.S.S. Tennessee in the immediate background

H/T for these and other photos depicting the attack, the history of all of the battleships and most other ships in the U.S. Navy.

I have not read Daniel Madsen's book, Resurrection, but it is on my list of books to buy. He describes the process by which most of the sunken ships were raised from the harbor and put back into action. Some of these ships took months or years to refloat. Some of the ships, including the Arizona and the Utah, were left in place where they remain to this day. The Oklahoma was raised and then scrapped. Others, like the Pennsylvania and the Nevada, saw action in the Pacific later in the war.

Michelle Malkin has more, including information on what probably is the final reunion of Pearl Harbor survivors.

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