Pearl Harbor: Into The Arizona

Synopsis: The USS Arizona has been resting on Pearl Harbor's ocean floor for the past 75 years. For the first time since it was destroyed in 1941, scientists have the technology to take an in-depth look inside the ship. Once considered the pride of its fleet, the Arizona has taken on drastic changes in the shallow waters of the Pearl. This comprehensive search of the USS Arizona sheds light on one of the darkest days in American history. The discoveries made inside the ship are a stark reminder of all those who paid the ultimate price for their country. The expedition retells personal stories of survivors who lived through Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. It also brings a survivor who was aboard the Arizona back to see the ship for what might be one last time. A sight he never thought he'd see again.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Carsten Oblaender
55 min

- [Narrator] It's an expedition

like no other before.

- That's our entry point.

We're going to drop down in there.

Dave will feed the RV.

- Comm check, Scott.

- [Narrator] They are among the world's

foremost underwater explorers.

- V tether.

- Copy that, we got a V tether.

- [Narrator] It's an exploration

of America's most sacred war memorial.

The wreckage of the

battleship USS Arizona.

- We want people to understand that

this was a living, breathing ship.

- The ship is a war grave.

1,177 men died.

- There was devastation.

It was unbelievable.

- [Narrator] The attack on Pearl Harbor,

an assault no one saw coming.

- We thought we were invincible.

They were coming right over us.

- And then we caught the big bomb.

- [Narrator] A blow that

would sink the Arizona,

and change the course of history.

- [President Roosevelt]

December 7th, 1941,

a date which will live in infamy.

- [Narrator] Now, 75 years later...

- That is awesome.

- [Narrator] These

explorers are setting out

to bring the Arizona back to life.

- Wow, look at that.

- Unbelievable.

- [Narrator] And for one

survivor, it's like a homecoming.

- Kind of interesting

to see what all the time

and the sea has done with our old home.

(waves lapping)

- [Narrator] Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii.

The site of the sunken

battleship USS Arizona.

A mere shadow of her former self.

- Here we are on the

gun, the number one guns.

These three gun barrels extend out

into the gloom of Pearl

Harbor some 57 feet.

- [Narrator] These encrusted weapons

were once capable of heaving

a 1,500 pound projectile

miles into the air.

- [Diver] The physical remains

of the ship are still here.

And along with those remains are artifacts

of the decks all around us.

- [Narrator] Marine growth, mixed with

the Arizona's corrosion,

covers the ship like a blanket.

- [Diver] We have this water pitcher

that's been here since the

attack of December 7th.

- [Narrator] A fork.

A bowl.

A shoe.

Traces of life on board before the attack.

- [Diver] They stay on the

decks, and they're preserved

as a touchstone to the

history and the events

that happened here on December 7th.

- [Narrator] 75 years after the attack,

the National Park

Service is about to board

the Arizona once more.

- Alright, breath's good.

- The interior investigation of Arizona

really stems out of

the Park Service's need

to manage the site, to figure

how long it's going to last.

And the only way we can do

that is through technology

and figuring out if we can access

some points deep in the ship.

- [Narrator] Researchers

and divers prepare

for a high stakes expedition.

- The ship is a war grave.

1,177 men died, and many of them died

right at the location

that you're diving at

and that you're looking at.

Knowing that and seeing

it up close underwater

is really a moving experience.

We get goosebumps, all of our divers do.

- [Narrator] Little is

known about the condition

of the Arizona's interior.

The ship is now a Naval cemetery,

and no diver is allowed inside.

- Now we've got this opportunity

to do it with scientific instrumentation

in a very controlled manner that allows us

to inspect what's there, what's

going on, what's changed.

- [Narrator] To gauge the

current state of the Arizona,

the team scans the wreckage using

a radio-controlled sonar device.

- That's good.

Stay on that azimuth for...

- [Narrator] The data

will be used to create

a 3-D computer model

of the ship's exterior.

At the heart of the interior exploration

will be a custom-built ROV

the team has named Eleventh Hour.

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Phil Claroni

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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