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The Salvage of the USS ARIZONA


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USS Arizona Salvage




The Salvage of the USS ARIZONA

The USS Arizona would continue to burn from Sunday December 7th to
Wednesday the 10th. The first task was to recover the remains of shipmates
killed on the USS Arizona. The task would be overwhelming for some of the
men but the task continued in the days after the attack. The remains of
shipmates recovered from the USS Arizona were taken to the Aiea landing
for possible identification. Most of the remains were not identifiable and
were buried at different locations on the Island of Oahu. Salvage work
would also start in the days after the attack. In early 1942, Navy divers
used high-pressure hoses to move mud away from the sides of the ship to
check the hull for damage. During this operation divers did not find any
evidence of torpedo damage to the side of the USS Arizona. In the 1980s and
in the late 1990s divers again looked for torpedo damage on the USS Arizona,
these dives could not find evidence of torpedo damage. During these early
salvage dives in 1942 more remains were recovered from deep inside the ship.
It is estimated that 900 men are entombed inside the USS Arizona. Salvage work
continued as most of the areas above the waterline were cut away by late 1942.
The ship was so badly damage and dangerous that further salvage efforts were
halted since the priority was now to keep ships fighting in World War II.
On December 1, 1942 the USS Arizona was stricken from the official register
of US Navy vessels.



USS Arizona Survivor Joe Langdell was one of the men tasked with the job
of recovering the remains of his shipmates. Below is his story.

Joe Langdell part 1

Joe Langdell part 2

Joe Langdell part 3


Photos courtesy of the National Archives, San Bruno, California.
Joe Langdell's video courtesy of SFR Productions "Pearl Harbor The Real Story".

 

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