The 5-foot by 5-foot section comes from near the mid-section of the battleship where the USS Arizona’s superstructure once stood prior to the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack that sank the battleship, killed 1,177 sailors and marines and plunged the United States into World War II
The non-profit World War II Foundation Global Education Center based in South Kingstown, Rhode Island is honored to announce the pending acquisition of a small section of the USS Arizona which will be put on permanent display at the center’s South Kingstown, Rhode Island location. The 5’ x 5’ piece will be arriving late next month via shipment from Pearl Harbor.
The relic being sent to the WWII Global Education Center comes from the middle area of the battleship above the waterline, which was removed from the Arizona following the attack and relocated to Ford Island. The section does not come from any part of the ship that now rests in Pearl Harbor as part of the USS Arizona Memorial.
The USS Arizona was sunk on December 7, 1941 when a Japanese bomb struck the forward ammunition magazine of the battleship, igniting a huge fireball that consumed the Arizona and its crew. 1,177 sailors and marines were killed in the explosion. Almost half of all those who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th were from the USS Arizona. More than 900 of her crew remain entombed aboard the battleship today.
“We are honored that the United States Navy and Pearl Harbor have chosen the World War II Global Education Center as a site to display a section of the USS Arizona,” said World War II Foundation Founder and Filmmaker Tim Gray. “We have done several films to date on the personal stories of the Arizona crew and to have a relic from the ship here in the facility will bring home to students the history of the battleship and its role in one of the most horrific and important events in world history,” Gray continued. “The attack on Oahu, Hawaii, Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona launched the United States into World War II, so having this relic here represents the beginning of America’s fight from 1941-1945,” Gray said.
“Your desire to have a piece for display with the World War II Foundation is appropriate and will be appreciated for generations to come,” said James Neuman, Commander Navy Region Hawaii, Public Affairs Office. To date, only about five locations around the world have been chosen to have a section of the USS Arizona on permanent display.
About the Arizona Relics Program: Today, relics of the USS Arizona reside within the confines of a protected reservation within the Pearl Harbor Naval Complex. In accordance with federal law, and out of respect for the USS Arizona as a national memorial and the organizations closely associated with the memorial the Navy has been authorized to donate pieces of the Arizona to organizations such as veterans’ groups, historical organizations and educational institutions for display and memorial purposes. The pieces are provided at no cost to the Navy and are donated in an “as is” condition.
The 5-foot by 5-foot section of the USS Arizona will be removed and packed by the United States Seabees (Construction Battalion) Hawaii Region and shipped to Rhode Island next month for display. The Seabees were established in Quonset-Davisville, Rhode Island during World War II and were used widely throughout the Pacific and Europe to build bases, runways and handle heavy construction for the war effort.
About the World War II Foundation Global Education Center: The World War II Foundation Global Education Center, coming in the late fall of 2018 in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, will welcome school groups, educators, researchers and eventually, the general public from around the United States and share with them, especially the students, an overview of the personal stories of the WWII generation. The education center will be very interactive and focused on preserving these stories so that future generations don’t forget the sacrifices of all those who served and survived WWII. It will also impart the hard lessons of war and its cost to society.
The curriculum will be centered around the 21 films the WWII Foundation has produced to date for a global television audience, World War II artifacts, and a library containing more than 500 books about WWII. A small theater, seating 35 people, will be a central part of the education center’s visual learning component. The learning center does not glorify war but focuses on the people and their personal stories during that time period.
Contact: Tim Gray 401.644.8244 or [email protected]