History, World War II

Aerial view of the salvage of the Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor

Aerial view of the salvage of the Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor

The USS Oklahoma (BB-37) was a battleship of the United States Navy that served during the early to mid-20th century, including World War I and World War II. Here’s a brief overview:

  1. Construction and Commissioning: The USS Oklahoma was commissioned in 1916 as a Nevada-class battleship. It was one of the first American dreadnoughts and featured a powerful armament of ten 14-inch guns.
  2. Interwar Period: During the interwar years, the USS Oklahoma underwent several modernizations to improve its capabilities. It participated in various fleet exercises and training operations.
  3. World War II: On December 7, 1941, the USS Oklahoma was moored at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked. It suffered multiple torpedo hits, quickly capsizing. Tragically, 429 crew members lost their lives in the attack.
  4. Salvage Operations: After the attack on Pearl Harbor, efforts were made to salvage the USS Oklahoma. However, due to the extensive damage and the challenging conditions, the ship was eventually deemed irreparable.
  5. Memorial: The USS Oklahoma was officially decommissioned in 1944. In 1947, it was sold for scrap. In the years following the attack, there were discussions about salvaging the battleship, but the technical challenges and costs proved prohibitive.
  6. Honors and Recognition: The USS Oklahoma, like other ships damaged or sunk during the Pearl Harbor attack, is remembered as a symbol of American resilience. In 2007, efforts to identify and memorialize the remains of the crew resulted in the disinterment and forensic analysis of remains, leading to the identification of some individuals.
  7. Memorial at Pearl Harbor: The USS Oklahoma is honored at the USS Oklahoma Memorial, which was dedicated in 2007 at Pearl Harbor. The memorial stands as a tribute to the ship and its crew, serving as a place of remembrance for those who served and sacrificed during the attack.

Photo: Aerial view of the salvage of the Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor.
Date: April 20, 1943.

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