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USS Arizona (BB-39) was the second and last of the Pennsylvania-class of "super-dreadnought" battleships built for the United States Navy in the mid-1910s. Named in honor of the 48th state's recent admission into the union and commissioned in 1916, the ship remained stateside during World War I. Shortly after the end of the war, Arizona was one of a number of American ships that briefly escorted President Woodrow Wilson to the Paris Peace Conference. The ship was sent to Turkey in 1919 at the beginning of the Greco-Turkish War to represent American interests for several months. Several years later, she was transferred to the Pacific Fleet and remained there for the rest of her career.
Aside from a comprehensive modernization in 1929–1931, Arizona was regularly used for training exercises between the wars, including the annual Fleet Problems (training exercises). When an earthquake struck Long Beach, California, on 10 March 1933, Arizona's crew provided aid to the survivors. In July 1934, the ship was featured in a James Cagney film, Here Comes the Navy, about the romantic troubles of a sailor. In April 1940, she and the rest of the Pacific Fleet were transferred from California to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, as a deterrent to Japanese imperialism.
On 7 December 1941, Arizona was hit by Japanese torpedo bombers that dropped armor-piercing bombs during the attack on Pearl Harbor. After one of their bombs detonated in a magazine, she exploded violently and sank, with the loss of 1,177 officers and crewmen. Unlike many of the other ships sunk or damaged that day, Arizona was irreparably damaged by the force of the magazine explosion, though the Navy removed parts of the ship for reuse. The wreck still lies at the bottom of Pearl Harbor beneath the USS Arizona Memorial. Dedicated on 30 May 1962 to all those who died during the attack, the memorial straddles but does not touch the ship's hull.
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