USS Arizona – Underwater Remote Controlled Cameras Reveal Submerged Lower Decks

USS Arizona in New York City
USS Arizona in New York City

Until recently, the last time Pearl Harbour survivor Donald Stratton saw the USS Arizona was December 7, 1941, when the battleship was sunk by Japanese aircraft.

He viewed the ship again as a participant in the PBS production ‘Pearl Harbour: Into the Arizona,’ that aired recently.

His glimpse into the rooms and corridors by a remotely controlled underwater vehicle revealed the lower decks of the Arizona to television viewers for the first time.

“The lightbulb was in the socket, the phone was on the desk,” he said, describing the room. “It’s kind of spooky,” said the seaman first class, who was on the ship during the attack.  He never thought it was possible to see the vessel again.

In one scene, on a shelf in the officer’s wardroom, white soap dishes, possibly porcelain jump out from the surroundings, highlighted by the underwater vehicle’s lights.

1,177 Marines and sailors died aboard the ship. This makes working in the wreck a sensitive project. Due to the accumulation of sediment over the years any human remains still extant aboard ship are not visible, Fox News reported.

Scott Pawlowski, Arizona Memorial chief of cultural resources, thinks the film will foster stronger veterans’ bonds.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE