The USS Arizona's Twitter Account Is Livetweeting The Attack On Pearl Harbor

Illustration for article titled The USS Arizona's Twitter Account Is Livetweeting The Attack On Pearl Harbor

On this date 75 years ago, more than 2,400 people were killed in an Imperial Japanese Navy attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. To commemorate the horrific attack of December 7th, 1941, the USS Arizona’s Twitter account is currently livetweeting events as they took place that day.

Here are some of the tweets:


The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor today left 2,535 people dead in total, by the official count. There were seven battleships lined up on “Battleship Row” on the day of the attack and they all suffered significant damage. But it was the Arizona, which rests at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to this day, that took biggest blow.

The Japanese dropped a 1,700-pound bomb on the ship, ripping it in half and causing an explosion. During the bombing, the Arizona exploded and sank that day and has been at the bottom of the Pacific Oceans since.


It would take more than two days to put out the fires caused by the initial explosion.

The Tennessee and Maryland were repaired in a couple of weeks, but others were under repair for more than a year; the Oklahoma and the Arizona never saw service again.


Here is the clock of Chaplain Thomas Kirkpatrick aboard Arizona when the ship exploded.


The death toll aboard the Arizona alone was devastating:


Daniel Martinez, the chief historian of the national memorial at Pearl Harbor says 900 of the 1,177 servicemen on the 1500-man crew went down with it. Only five of the 334 survivors of that attack on the Arizona are still alive today. It was decided that the men who died on the ship would be considered “buried at sea” because it would be too challenging to remove them in a respectful manner.

John Anderson was serving as a boatswain’s mate second class on the day of the attack. His twin brother, Delbert, was manning an anti-aircraft gun out on deck and John rushed to his turret to help him. John survived, but Delbert did not. John died last November at the age of 98. Today, remains will be interred in the remnants of Arizona’s No. 4 turret today, according to the Washington Post.


There were 26 sets of brothers on the ship, but the Andersons were the only twins. The Arizona’s Twitter account honored one of the sets of brothers who died that day.

(Note that The Post has the sets of brothers numbered at 26, while the Arizona’s account tallies 23.)


As of 2 p.m. East Coast time, the Arizona’s Twitter account shows smoke rising from Battleship Row as the Japanese continue to bomb the ships mercilessly.


To see a livestream of the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, go here, and the Arizona Twitter account is still livetweeting the attack as it happened.

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This is an interesting method of bringing a monumental historical event to life in a way that is understandable to people in today’s world. It brings home the elapse of time during the event and makes it a bit more human.

War is horrible. This attack, regardless of what some people may think the government knew, was a devastating blow to the American people and the events in the handful of days after impacted people all over the Pacific. I expect the rabble to show up in this post at some point and point fingers, but really the best thing to do is honor those who were killed by doing whatever we can to eliminate the need for war in the future.

The Arizona in happier days.