Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Review: The USS Arizona

The USS Arizona: The Ship, the Men, the Pearl Harbor Attack and the Symbol That Arroused America by Joy Waldron Jasper, James P. Delgado and Jim Adams, Truman Talley Books, New York, 2001.

This book is written some years after the Battle of Pearl Harbor, but is fresh and relevant because of the. First person recounting fro, USS Arizona sailors.  the most interesting chapter is that I which the sailors tell of their day, December 7, 1941.  There are chapters from below decks, on deck and those on leave.  There are aspects of a ship sinking you don't always think about.  In this case there was massive loss of life, almost 1200 men.  However there was also loss of property as well as clothes.  Payroll was lost and had to be rebuilt. Not only this there were sailors who swam through the water, covered with oil, and would not get clean for several months.  
The admiral and captain were on the bridge, and vaporized with many others when the Arizonetook its death blow, a bomb that penetrated into the forward magazine and the exploded triggering a massive explosion. It created a temperature above 2000 degrees.  The captain's melted wedding ring was later recovered from the water.  Many of those who survived were blow into the water by this blast.
This book goes on to follow several of the men through the war. A couple went home with injuries.  Most served through the war on other ships.  One was there when the war ended inJapan on a boat accompanying the USS Missouri.

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