USS Arizona (BB-39) was a Pennsylvania-class battleship commissioned by the United States Navy in 1916. She and her sister ship USS Pennsylvania were the first to introduce the provision of 12 14-inch guns in four turrets. Although very similar in appearance, USS Pennsylvania was heavier due to larger armored flag accommodations. They were at the time of their building the most powerful battleships in the world and two of four super dreadnoughts built in the United States, the other two being sister ships USS Oklahoma and USS Nevada.
She was rebuilt in 1929-1931 and came out of the yard period as a virtually new battle ship. Tripods were fitted, more powerful turbine engines added, bridges increased and renewed, bilges added (raising her displacement to full load 38,000 tons) bringing her beam from 99 to 107 feet.
In 1934 Hollywood borrowed the battleship Arizona for use in a film entitled ‘Here Comes the Navy’ starring James Cagney, Pat O’Brian and Gloria Stuart. A priceless recording of one of America’s most famous battleships in action, this move is still available and can be ordered from various online websites.
In this painting by James Flood USS Arizona (BB-39) battleship is portrayed in 1936 departing Pearl Harbor for the mainland. Resplendent in her peacetime colors, spotless teak decks and shining brightwork, she is the epitome of the prewar battleship Navy.
Just off her port bow the Navy yard can be viewed with a yard tug in front slowing so as not to foul the battleship’s way. Front center the commander of the 14th Naval District is taking a VIP on a tour of the facilities in his admiral’s barge. To USS Arizona’s stern is a New Mexico class battleship with Ford Island in the background.
USS Arizona appears the second in the battle line in the artist’s artwork Pacific Bulwark.
Today the wreckage of USS Arizona is memorialized at the USS Arizona Memorial.