A Piercing Blow: The Aerial Attack on the USS Arizona
A living piece of American WWII history on display in perpetuity.
On December 7, 1941, shortly after 8:00 a.m., 10 Japanese Nakajima B5N2 “Kate” torpedo bombers attacked the USS Arizona. From an altitude of 10,000 feet, four bombs were dropped on the ship.
The first three bombs did minor damage, starting small fires on the decks below. The fourth bomb plunged down five decks near turret No. 2 into a black powder magazine, igniting the ammunition and powder stores of the forward turrets.
The resulting explosion burst with tremendous force, collapsing the decks and sinking the Arizona in just a few minutes. A total of 1,177 lives were lost and the United States was catapulted into a global war that would define a generation.
Explore our newest exhibit A Piercing Blow: The Aerial Attack on the USS Arizona, and learn about the “date which will live in infamy” from an entirely new perspective – the aircraft that delivered and returned fire on that fateful day.
From the ashes of the USS Arizona, explore our battle-scarred hangars and discover how aviation rose out of the ashes to inspire hope, redefine freedom and galvanize a nation to overcome.