WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — It may not appear very recognizable, but a piece of a historic battleship is bringing an educational opportunity to Wakefield.
An artifact, about 5 feet by 5 feet, from the USS Arizona, which was bombed and destroyed in Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, was brought to Rhode Island on Monday morning.
It arrived at T.F. Green Airport to a welcome by veterans of World War II, National Guard members, students and state leaders, including former Army Ranger Sen. Jack Reed.
“This piece of history has found a place here in Rhode Island, in which Rhode Islanders can appreciate and think about the sacrifice and service it represents,” Reed said.
The relic was removed from a portion of the USS Arizona that hadn’t been submerged in the aftermath of the attack. The artifact wasn’t detached or removed from the part of the ship that now rests on the seabed of Pearl Harbor at the USS Arizona Memorial.
Launched in 1915, the original ship was 608 feet long, had a 97-foot beam (or was 97 feet across at its widest point), and a draft (or height) of 29 feet, 3 inches. It was about as long as a walk from home plate to left field at Fenway Park (310 meters) twice.
The artifact will be put on display at the World War II Foundation’s Global Education Center in South Kingstown as an honor to veterans and those lost in the war.
Some 1,512 marines and sailors were on the USS Arizona, but only 335 survived the wartime attack.