Tag Archives: USS Arizona

Battleship No. 39 Reopens

The USS Arizona Memorial has been closed since May 2018 for a $2.1 million stabilization and limited reconstruction, but it will be reopened on September 1, 2019 (Sunday). The National Park Service, in coordination with the Navy and contractors, completed the final phase of construction this month, with CPO selectees putting the finishing touches on the monument.

“The National Park Service is excited to welcome our visitors back to the USS Arizona Memorial very soon,” said Pearl Harbor National Memorial Acting Superintendent Steve Mietz in a statement. “It is a great honor to share the stories of the men of the USS Arizona, and all of those who served, suffered and sacrificed on Oahu on December 7, 1941. That is the cornerstone of our mission here, and restoration of public access to this iconic place is critical as we continue to tell their stories and honor their memory,” Mietz said.

The Tombstones of Battleship Row

In the 1930s, the Navy built 16 fixed concrete moorings to relieve congestion at Pearl and to provide additional berthing space for capital ships. Established in pairs designated F1 through F8, North and South, the eight along Ford Island’s southeast side became known as the famed “Battleship Row.”

Today, the quays remain as tombstones to the opening act of the Pacific War. However, they were important far past 7 December 1941.

As noted by the NPS:

From the quays, American salvage workers accomplished unprecedented feats in the recovery of sunken battleships. Workers raised the USS California, USS West Virginia, and righted and refloated the USS Oklahoma. Extensive salvage work was performed on the USS Arizona. The quays were the foundations of the recovery, which lead ships like the West Virginia fighting throughout the remainder of World War II.

Now, as noted by the Park Service, “for the first time since 1941, the fleet moorings of Battleship Row are being examined, repaired, and architecturally reviewed in order to preserve these historic structures. It’s all part of a joint program with the Concrete Preservation Institute and the National Park Service to preserve and restore the moorings along Battleship Row.”

More on that, here 

Warship Wednesday, June 19, 2019: Coming Full Circle, OTD 104 & 75 Years Ago

Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1833-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places.- Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday, June 19, 2019: Coming Full Circle, OTD 104 & 75 Years Ago

Launch of USS Arizona (BB-39) UA 476.12

NARA Photo UA 476.12

As a special Warship Wednesday, above we see Battleship No. 39, PCU USS Arizona at her launch on her builder’s ways at the New York Navy Yard, 19 June 1915– some 104 years ago today.

The second ship of the Pennsylvania-class, Arizona‘s keel had been laid on 16 March 1914 with then-Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt in attendance. The ceremony included FDR closely observing the nailing up of the ship’s good luck horseshoe.

Laying Keel of U.S.S. Battleship Number 39, Nailing of the Horseshoe. NARA 10-a2-131-0004-00011 AC

Detail of the above, with a very mobile and bowler-wearing FDR circled, peering down on the ceremony. He would not be stricken with polio until 1921

Her launching, just 15 months after she was laid down, was attended by a reported crowd of 75,000 including Roosevelt, NYC Mayor John Purroy Mitchel, most of the big name naval brass of the era– the modern battleships Florida, Utah, Wyoming, Arkansas, New York, and Texas were in the Hudson for the event– and various luminaries of the day. It was quite the affair.

USS ARIZONA (BB-39) Launching Ticket. Courtesy of Mr. R. Lincoln Hedlander, USS LEVIATHAN Veterans Association. NH 75450

Secretary of the Navy invitation to the ship’s launching, at the New York Navy Yard, 19 June 1915. Note Secretary of the Navy flag and Arizona State seal. Courtesy of Mrs. Worth Sprunt, 1974. Collection of Rear Admiral B. F. Hutchison. NH 81429

There was a huge delegation from her namesake state led by Arizona Gov. George W. P. Hunt and including Sen. Henry F. Ashurst and pioneer Miss Esther Rose– the latter a sponsor who brought a carboy of the water from the state’s Salt River first spilled over the Theodore Roosevelt Dam in 1911, for use in the double christening of water and wine across the ship’s bow.

The good people of Arizona would, over the next year while the ship was fitting out at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, go on to fund an extensive Reed & Barton silver service for “their” new battleship by popular subscription. It was ready to present to the dreadnought upon her commissioning in 1916.

Removed during a “strip ship” by the US Navy at Bremerton, Washington in late 1940-early 1941 in preparation for the war, the service was later carried aboard the light cruiser USS Tucson (CL-98) and returned to the state in 1953. Today, the treasured relics are on display at the Arizona Capitol Museum

The 1915 event was, by contemporary accounts, the top news of the day.

Heading down the ways. NARA Photo 19-N-3339

USS Arizona afloat after launch NARA 19-LC-19A-24

USS Arizona pushed by tugs after launch. The third warship named after the territory/state; the Navy has never again issued the name. NARA 19-LC-19A-10

Fast forward from that joyous day in 1915 and Arizona would be a happy and lucky ship– remaining stateside during World War I– across more than two decades of faithful service until that fateful Day of Infamy, as later-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt would describe her loss to the world.

On 7 December 1941, she was hit multiple times in the first few minutes of the Japanese attack with one air-dropped bomb penetrating the armored deck near her forward ammunition magazine, sparking a massive explosion that killed 1,177 of the sailors and Marines on board. Mortally damaged, Arizona still lies at the bottom of Pearl Harbor’s Battleship Row.

Curiously, on the 29th anniversary of Arizona‘s christening (19 June 1944– 75 years ago today) the opening acts of the pivotal Battle of the Philippine Sea, one of the last gasps of the Imperial Japanese Navy, was well underway.

Remembered as the “Marianas turkey shoot”, the Japanese lost three precious aircraft carriers and 600 warplanes of their fleet air arm along with their irreplaceable pilots– which amounted to something like 90 percent of their effective naval aviation strength across the IJN.

A VF-1 Top Hatter F6F-3 fighter is launched from USS YORKTOWN, to intercept enemy forces during Mariana's turkey shoot 19 June 1944. Note target information board under the propeller. 80-G-248440

A VF-1 Top Hatter F6F-3 Hellcat fighter is launched from USS YORKTOWN, to intercept enemy forces during Mariana’s turkey shoot 19 June 1944. Note target information board under the propeller. 80-G-248440

Among those Japanese flattops scratched that day included Shokaku, one of six Japanese carriers of the Kido Butai to participate in the Pearl Harbor attack that sunk Arizona. Shokaku was struck at 11:22 on 19 June by three to four torpedoes from the submarine USS Cavalla (SS-224) and slipped below the waves just after midnight on the 20th, taking some 1,272 men with her.

The scale, you could say, was balanced.

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They are possibly one of the best sources of naval study, images, and fellowship you can find. http://www.warship.org/membership.htm

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Don’t forget the reason for the holiday weekend

Too often, in our rush to squeeze in summer activities this three day weekend, we forget the reason we are observing it.

Here we see the Essex-class attack carrier USS Bennington (CVA-20) as she passed Battleship Row in Pearl Harbor on 31 May 1958, Memorial Day.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph. Catalog #: USN 1036055

Note Bennington’s airwing of FJ3 Fury, F2H Banshee, and F9F Cougar fighters, AD-6 Skyraider attack aircraft, and AJ2 Savage bombers. Her gig is racing to drop a wreath over Arizona’s deck. Official U.S. Navy Photograph. Catalog #: USN 1036055

Just under the surface to her port is the wreck of the Pennsylvania-class battleship USS Arizona (BB-39) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Memorial Day, 31 May 1958. Note the outline of Arizona‘s hull and the flow of oil from her fuel tanks.

Bennington‘s crew is in formation on the flight deck, spelling out a tribute to Arizona‘s crewmen who were lost in the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

The beginning, and the end

A Navy officer views the shrine at the Arizona Memorial, where a marble wall bears the names of 1,177 officers and crew killed on the USS Arizona (BB-39) on 7 December 1941.

(Photo: VA)

A view of the USS Missouri (BB-63), site of the Japanese surrender ceremony in 1945, from the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. To this day, oil can be still seen rising from the wreckage to the surface of the water. The oil seeping is sometimes referred to as “tears of the Arizona” or “black tears.”

(Photo: VA)

Remember, it’s not about great deals on home appliances today..

“The Constant Reminder,” Painting, Acrylic on Illustration Board; by Robert Adam Malin; 1998; Framed Dimensions 22H X 32W, NHC Accession #: 98-110-E

The subject depicts a modern attack submarine leaving Pearl Harbor with the topside watch noting Battleship Row in the distance with the USS Arizona Memorial gleaming in the sunlight.

Remember to thank and to think of a veteran today.

 

New USS Arizona Memorial Dedicated at University of Arizona

Photo Credit Aengus Anderson

Photo Credit Aengus Anderson

A new memorial to the sunken battleship the USS Arizona was unveiled on Sunday, three days before the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor that propelled the United States into World War II.

Installed on the grassy mall in the center of the University of Arizona campus, the USS Arizona Mall Memorial consists of a full-scale outline of the famous ship’s deck and a brick plaza with 1,177 bronze medallions inscribed with the name, rank and home state of each of the soldiers and Marines who died aboard the ship on Dec. 7, 1941.

“This memorial is a fitting contribution to the UA’s tradition of remembering the USS Arizona and is a wonderful addition to the UA Mall and the life of our campus,” UA President Ann Weaver Hart said to an overflow crowd at the dedication ceremony. “The installation will help all of us to remember the sacrifice of the Arizona’s crew, and our hope is that it inspires gratitude and reminds us of the sacrifice others have made in defense of our freedoms.”

The event included a flyover by the A-10s of the 47th Fighter Squadron from nearby Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, and a presentation of colors by the UA’s NROTC Color Guard, followed by a performance of the national anthem by Dolce Voces, an all-female a cappella group at the University.

The USS Arizona Mall Memorial illustrates the size of the ship’s massive deck, which was 597 feet long — the length of two football fields — and 97 feet wide. The installation extends lengthwise, west to east, stern to bow, from the first and oldest building on the UA campus, Old Main, to a cactus display, the Krutch Garden. The outline of the ship is created by a narrow strip of rubberized track material in the grass of the mall. UA alumnus Yasser Malaika created the 3-D modeling of the memorial used in its construction.

Photo Credit Aengus Anderson

Photo Credit Aengus Anderson

The memorial includes a brick walkway with curved walls containing the medallions, and it includes a flagpole that lines up directly with the Student Union Memorial Center tower that enshrines one of two bells once housed on the USS Arizona.

U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Stephen C. Evans, commander of the Naval Service Training Command, and U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., a retired Air Force colonel, also spoke at the dedication.

“The University of Arizona has a unique bond and relationship with Pearl Harbor, as the famed battleship the USS Arizona and its salvaged remains now act as a memorial for many of the sailors our nation lost (on Dec. 7, 1941),” Evans said.

“We’ve got to continue on with their legacy and honoring them,” McSally said of those who perished aboard the Arizona. “May we remember and not forget.”

Three Tucsonans were responsible for bringing the idea for the memorial to Bob Smith, UA vice president for University Planning, Design and Operations.

Bill Westcott, David Carter and Chuck Albanese, retired dean and professor of the UA College of Architecture, raised $160,000 in private donations to fund the project. Carter and Albanese previously had worked together on preservation projects, and Westcott lost his namesake uncle, Seaman 1st Class William P. Westcott Jr., on the USS Arizona.

“You need to be drawn in (by a memorial),” Westcott said, “and this does it.”

“We designed this memorial to honor all veterans with the intent that they would visit the site for many, many years to come,” Albanese said.

The UA is a repository for many artifacts from the USS Arizona, with University Libraries’ Special Collections managing one of the world’s largest archives of memorabilia from the ship. An exhibit curated by Special Collections, “The Life and Legacy of the USS Arizona,” continues through Dec. 23.

The UA’s Student Union Memorial Center is a multilevel cylindrical drum designed to represent the shape of the USS Arizona‘s superstructure. Many artifacts are displayed permanently in a USS Arizona room in the Student Union.

USS Arizona steams into New York past the Statue of Liberty, from the University Libraries' Special Collections

USS Arizona steams into New York past the Statue of Liberty, from the University Libraries’ Special Collections

Combat Gallery Sunday : The Martial Art of Vernon Howe Bailey

Much as once a week I like to take time off to cover warships (Wednesdays), on Sundays (when I feel like working), I like to cover military art and the painters, illustrators, sculptors, and the like that produced them.

Combat Gallery Sunday : The Martial Art of Vernon Howe Bailey

Born in Camden, New Jersey in the peaceful time that was 1874 in the United States, young Vernon Howe Bailey was a skilled artist already in his youth, earning a place at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Art in Philadelphia at the tender young age of 15. This led to further study in London and Paris and by 1892, at age 18, he was a regular illustrator on the staff of the Philadelphia Times back in the day when virtually every image was drawn rather than photographed.

Fitchburg elevator fire of 1898

Fitchburg elevator fire of 1898

While at the Times, he submitted works to weekly and monthly periodicals such as Scribner’s, Harper’s, Leslies Weekly and Colliers— all big names at the time. In 1902, he left Philly and took a job at the Boston Herald.

Before the Great War, he toured Europe extensively and created enduring architectural studies that preserved the lamplight era just before the lamps themselves were blown out.

Brasenose College, Oxford by Vernon Howe

Brasenose College, Oxford by Vernon Howe

Red Lion Passage

Red Lion Passage

Corpus Christi College, Oxford

Corpus Christi College, Oxford

Antwerp

Antwerp

When WWI came, he did war work for the Navy and some of these images grew acclaim for their attention to detail. in fact, he was the first artist authorized by the U. S. Government to make drawings of America’s war effort in the Great War.

h86448

NH 86449 USS Kaiser Wilhelm II

NH 86449 USS Kaiser Wilhelm II

NH 86451 USS NEW YORK (BB-34) and USS ARIZONA (BB-39) fitting out note torpedo boat loading fish

NH 86451 USS NEW YORK (BB-34) and USS ARIZONA (BB-39) fitting out note torpedo boat loading fish

NH 86454 USS NEW MEXICO (BB-40) Building

NH 86454 USS NEW MEXICO (BB-40) Building

USS Barracuda in dry dock

USS Barracuda in dry dock

Postwar, it was more architecture and travel, though the number of pieces he did per month began to dwindle as his rates had gone up in accordance with his renown. He was even commissioned to produce watercolors for the Vatican.

When the Second World War came, it was back to work with the Navy. Throughout the war he toured extensively stateside and created some of the best military art of the era from any pen or brush.

An entire set of 22 watercolors sprang from a three-week long stay in March 1942 at NAS Jacksonville where he recorded the seaplane operations there with a more painterly approach than he did in 1918.

Landing planes at NAS Jacksonville.

Landing planes at NAS Jacksonville.

PBY Patrol planes at the beach.

PBY Patrol planes at the beach.

Patrol plane on the air station apron.

Patrol plane on the air station apron.

Crane hoisting a sea plane from the St. Johns River.

Crane hoisting a sea plane from the St. Johns River.

Apron with patrol squadron planes.

Apron with patrol squadron planes.

Hauling a sea plane up the ramp.

Hauling a Kingfisher sea plane up the ramp.

Patrol Plane 33.

Patrol Plane 33.

Seagoing Rescue Tugs,” by Vernon Howe Bailey, Watercolor, 1942, 88-165-LN. This painting went south http://www.navalhistory.org/2010/04/12/misappropriated-navy-art but, as noted by the NHC, was recovered: "This painting recently returned to us from a DC area auction house. The consignor had found it at a Goodwill store, I’m told. Its last location before it went missing was with the Bureau of Ships before 1969. One of our local NCIS agents very kindly visited the auction house two hours before the start of our first big snowstorm in February to let them know the Navy had a claim on the painting."

Seagoing Rescue Tugs,” by Vernon Howe Bailey, Watercolor, 1942, 88-165-LN. This painting went south but, as noted by the NHC, was recovered: “This painting recently returned to us from a DC area auction house. The consignor had found it at a Goodwill store, I’m told. Its last location before it went missing was with the Bureau of Ships before 1969. One of our local NCIS agents very kindly visited the auction house two hours before the start of our first big snowstorm in February to let them know the Navy had a claim on the painting.”

Combat Art entitled View of a PB2Y in a Camouflaged Revetment by Vernon Howe Bailer (No. 397). Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection. National Archives photograph, KN 24436.

Combat Art entitled View of a PB2Y in a Camouflaged Revetment by Vernon Howe Bailer (No. 397). Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection. National Archives photograph, KN 24436.

Combat Art entitled, PB2Y-2 Taking off from the Water by Vernon Howe Bailer (No.396). Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection. National Archives photograph, KN-24437.

Combat Art entitled, PB2Y-2 Taking off from the Water by Vernon Howe Bailer (No.396). Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection. National Archives photograph, KN-24437.

Postwar, he returned to New York and continued where he left off, never fully retiring.

In addition to numerous medals, ribbons and awards, Bailey was a full and celebrated member of the Society of Illustrators and of the Architectural League of New York.

He passed in 1953 in New York City, at the ripe old age of 79.

Besides works maintained by the NAS Jacksonville and the Naval Historical Command, he is also exhibited in the Smithsonian’s extensive collection who maintain some 600 of his illustrations and papers, North Carolina State University the French War Museum in Paris and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington. A number of his architectural drawings from the Victorian era can be found online at The Victorian Web.

Thank you for your work, sir.

Combat Gallery Sunday : The Martial Art of Tom W. Freeman

Much as once a week I like to take time off to cover warships (Wednesdays), on Sunday, I like to cover military art and the painters, illustrators, sculptors, and the like that produced them.

Combat Gallery Sunday : The Martial Art of Tom W. Freeman

Born in 1952 in Pontiac, Michigan, Tom’s family moved to the East Coast when he was 12. At age 18, Freeman joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1970 and left the military during the post-Vietnam draw down in 1977.

Although not professionally trained as an artist, Tom was skilled and had an eye for naval subjects, visiting the offices of the U.S. Naval Institute and pitching artwork that went on to grace the cover of the USNI’s journal, Proceedings (I’ve had a subscription since 9th grade NJROTC and encourage you to do the same!)

In all, he did the covers for 9 issues of Proceedings and 22 issues of Naval History magazine. He became the first artist in residence to the United States Naval Institute.

Freeman's first cover, Feb. 1977, Proceedings.

Freeman’s first cover, Feb. 1977, Proceedings.

He went on to become widely accepted and painted portraits for the White House, National Museum of the U.S. Navy, Annapolis, the SECNAV’s office, the Naval Historical Command, CNET, the NROTC program, and others as well as publish extensively.

Yamato's Final Voyage

Yamato’s Final Voyage

USS Tennessee

USS Tennessee

USS Houston, CA 30 valiantly fights on alone during the night of February 27-28, 1942 against an overwhelming Japanese Naval Force. “They Sold Their Lives Dearly” by Tom Freeman.

USS Houston, CA 30 valiantly fights on alone during the night of February 27-28, 1942 against an overwhelming Japanese Naval Force. “They Sold Their Lives Dearly” by Tom Freeman.

USCG Hamilton, (WMSL-753) interdicts drug runners by tom freeman

USCG Hamilton, (WMSL-753) interdicts drug runners by tom freeman

Pioneers

Pioneers

Pawn Takes Castle during Battle of Midway by Tom Freeman (Akagi means red castle)

Pawn Takes Castle during Battle of Midway by Tom Freeman (Akagi means red castle)

Oil on canvas by the artist Tom Freeman entitled The Harder (SS-257) Rescues Ensign John Gavlin. Date is 1 April 1944. Image via Navsource

Oil on canvas by the artist Tom Freeman entitled The Harder (SS-257) Rescues Ensign John Gavlin. Date is 1 April 1944. Image via Navsource

Too Close

Too Close

Action in the Slot PT-109

Action in the Slot PT-109

IJN Soryu (Blue Dragon) by Tom Freeman

IJN Soryu (Blue Dragon) by Tom Freeman

French helicopter carrier Jeanne d'Arc

French helicopter carrier Jeanne d’Arc

(16 June 2003) Award-winning artist Tom W. Freeman presents his painting "Payment in Iron" to the Honorable Hansford T. Johnson, Acting Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV). The artwork will hang in the main entrance to the Acting SECNAV’s office. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 1st Class Craig P. Strawser.

(16 June 2003) Award-winning artist Tom W. Freeman presents his painting “Payment in Iron” to the Honorable Hansford T. Johnson, Acting Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV). The artwork will hang in the main entrance to the Acting SECNAV’s office. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 1st Class Craig P. Strawser.

He delved extensively into Civil War maritime history, a subject that is often left uncovered.

You Can Run, CSS Alabama chases down Yankee clipper.

You Can Run, CSS Alabama chases down Yankee clipper.

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The Fatal Chase by Tom Freeman. The USS Hatteras engages the Confederate raider CSS Alabama. Hatteras was sunk in the ensuing battle

The Fatal Chase by Tom Freeman. The USS Hatteras engages the Confederate raider CSS Alabama. Hatteras was sunk in the ensuing battle

"Gunfight on the Roanoke," The gun crew of the U.S.S. Miami witnesses the sinking to the U.S.S. Southfield by the C.S.S. Albemarle, April 19, 1864. Via TomFreemanArt.com

“Gunfight on the Roanoke,” The gun crew of the U.S.S. Miami witnesses the sinking to the U.S.S. Southfield by the C.S.S. Albemarle, April 19, 1864. Via TomFreemanArt.com

gotmb_tf-jpg.43930

CSS Fredericksburg at Trent's Reach - Tom Freeman

CSS Fredericksburg at Trent’s Reach – Tom Freeman

Freeman’s magnum opus was a series of 42 paintings and a mural covering the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 for the USS Arizona Museum, who display them prominently in their collection, seen by millions.

Attack on the Tang

Attack on the Tang

Tom_Freeman.jpg~original

Nakajima B5N2 attack bomber taking off from aircraft carrier Akagi, 7 December 1941. Artwork by Tom Freeman.

Nakajima B5N2 attack bomber taking off from aircraft carrier Akagi, 7 December 1941. Artwork by Tom Freeman.

The Last Mooring

The Last Mooring

Fuchida's planes cross the coast, by Tom Freeman.

Fuchida’s planes cross the coast, by Tom Freeman.

DC-242-2356.jpg~original

Sadly, Mr. Freeman crossed the bar last month on June 18 at age 62. Freeman is survived by his wife Ann, five children and 13 grandchildren.

Artist Tom Freeman at Pearl Harbor

Artist Tom Freeman at Pearl Harbor

His official website, Tom Freeman Art.com is up and running and I encourage you visit it.

'A Guest of the King' USS Enterprise arrives in Bahrain for a port call. Tom Freeman

‘A Guest of the King’ USS Enterprise arrives in Bahrain for a port call. Tom Freeman

This month’s Proceedings has a salute to Freeman included and is repeated on their website and they note that his “Guest of the King” might well be the only American painting gracing the palace of King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain.

Thank you for your work, sir.

The US Navy and its 14 inch guns

I love a big gun.

In 1906 the HMS Dreadnought slipped from the builders dock in the British Isles and into the Atlantic Ocean. It instantly changed naval warfare with its huge battery large 12” naval guns. It could destroy any other ship afloat or on the drawing board in the world. Teddy Roosevelt’s America, home of the Big Stick and the Great White fleet was not to be outdone. In 1910 the BuOrd (US navy Bureau of Ordinance) gave birth to the 14” naval gun, officially styled the 14inch/45calibre naval gun. “14 inch” being the diameter of the shell it fired and the “45 calibre” part denoting how long the barrel was (in this case 52 feet).

That’s a heck of a gun. In fact its our “Weapon of the Month” this month.

It was designed for a half dozen battleships whose names ring through history such as the USS Arizona and USS New York. The gun was also used for massive railway cannon sent to France in World War one to defend Paris from the German Army’s Big Bertha cannon.

Till next time