On December 7, 1941, about twenty minutes into the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, an armor-piercing bomb struck the USS Arizona, penetrating four decks before exploding. An immense fire, fed by ammunition and fuel oil, swept through the ship, instantly killing hundreds of men. The Arizona quickly settled to the bottom of the harbor, taking most of her crew of 1,514 with her. Of the 88 Marines assigned to the battleship, only 15 survived. This account of the Arizona’s Marines on that fateful day, the first to tell their little-known story, also covers the broader history of shipboard Marines as well as the Arizona from her launch in World War I to the dawn of America’s entry into World War II.
With more than 100 historic photographs, many never before published, the book is a fitting tribute to Marine detachment Arizona and to all of America’s ship-borne Marines. Includes 5 appendices: a copy of the original Muster Roll from December 1, 1941; a copy of the posthumously-awarded letter of commendation to the family of 2nd Lt. C.E. Simensen; a copy of the original affidavit and casualty roster from December 7; an unknowingly heartbreaking letter from Capt. F.V. Valkenburgh to his girlfriend confirming their date to see the movies on the quarterdeck of the Arizona on the evening of December 7; and an appendix listing updated profiles of the Marines detailed in the story.