Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Battleship Arizona and Los Angeles

The Arizona, which we all know sank in Pearl Harbor with nearly 1,200 crew men in 1941, was actually a 25-year-old battleship by then. It was commissioned in 1916 and saw service in World War I.

This picture, from the site, shows the Arizona in Long Beach in 1939. It was taken by Paul Ayers - (Copyright The Inman Co., Long Beach, CA)

From August of 1921 through the mid-1930s, the Arizona was based in San Pedro. From there she sailed to the Caribbean--often to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba--Central America, and Hawaii, on maneuvers and frequently as the flagship of a Battleship Division. She was modernized in New York in 1931, then carried President Hoover on a visit to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Since she was a stone's throw from Hollywood, the Arizona was used in a 1935 James Cagney film, Here Comes the Navy. She was moved to Hawaii in 1940, but made a couple of trips back to Long Beach during the first half of 1941.

This picture of Battleships in San Pedro Harbor, 1938, is from the Frasher Foto Postcard Collection of the Pomona Public Library.

The next picture, again from the site, was taken at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles on November 28, 1924. It shows the USS Arizona 8th Annual Ball. has great shots of its football, basketball, baseball, wrestling, and rowing teams, all taken by men who served on the ship; I include only those that were clearly marked as being taken when the ship was in port in Los Angeles County.

The last picture from that site , Courtesy of Jack Rouse via Paul Stillwell, is of a mid-1930s Race boat crew preparing for a race at Long Beach.

(Most of the information about the Arizona itself is from the US Navy's Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, which is reprinted online at various sites.)

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