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Battleship Row

In the center of Pearl Harbor Ford Island is a rectangular feature running approximately north-east to south-west. The middle of the island was occupied by the airfield of the Navy and the southern shore was devoted to seaplane facilities. That part of the shore facing north-west was where the aircraft carriers moored when in port, but both Lexington and Enterprise were, crucially, at sea on 7 December. On the south-east facing shore of the north-eastern corner of the island was Battleship Row. Here, when the Japanese attacked, reading from north to south, were the battleships Nevada, Arizona, Tennessee (inshore) and West Virginia, Maryland(inshore) and Oklahoma. The repair ship Vestal was moored outside Arizona and the fuel tanker Neosho was at the jetty supplying the oil storage tanks south-west of Oklahoma. Further south, on the other side of a small bay, was the battleship California. A rich collection of prime targets.The First Attack Wave arrived at 0755 and two minutes later the 1st Torpedo Attack unit from Akagi flew over South-East Lough to hit the battleships. Lieutenant Commander Shigeharu Murata led 12 Kates into action. 2nd Torpedo Attack unit under Lieutenant Kazuyoshi Kitajama from Kaga followed. West Virginia. Oklahoma and California sustained torpedo strikes. The horizontal bombers led by Lieutenant Commander Mitsuo Fuchida (Fuchida, Mitsuo) four attack units comprising 49 Kates carrying 800kg bombs followed. Arizona was fatally hit at 0810 hours. The Second Attack Wave hit Battleship Row at 0905 when Lieutenant Commander Takashige Egusa with the 17 Val dive-bombers of the 11th Attack Unit from Soryu led 12th Attack Unit from Kaga with 26 Vals, 13th Attack Unit from Akagi with 18 Vals and 14th from Hiryu with 17 of the dive-bombers. The 11th and 14th concentrated on the Navy Yard while the others attacked Battleship Row. Five battleships were sunk and another three, one of which, Pennsylvania, had been in dry dock at the Navy Yard, were rendered non-operational for the time being.

See also: Akagi; Arizona; California; Damage assessments/actual; First Attack Wave; Fuchida, Mitsuo; Hiryu; Kaga; Kate; Maryland; Neosho; Nevada; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Second Attack Wave; Soryu; Tennessee; Val.