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Remembering Pearl Harbor | Drone in the USS Arizona

Sam Macdonald   |   December 7, 2017

Looking back at our time with one of the last remaining survivors of the USS Arizona Pearl Harbor attack. Including ROV footage of the vessel's corridors.

Reliving Our Pearl Harbor Experience

Time flies - It is hard to believe a year has passed since a chain of fortunate events took me to Hawaii. The warm sun, beautiful landscapes and peaceful waters of Pearl Harbor, made it hard to envision the happenings of December 7, 1941. 76 years had passed since that day, however, and when I sat beside Donald Stratton, one of the only remaining survivors of the USS Arizona, his story and the images from the remains of the ship, painted a very vivid picture of all that was endured that day.

I am fortunate enough to have had the privilege to participate in diving numerous shipwrecks, each its own adventure and mystery. The USS Arizona, however, was an experience that far surpassed the rest. I couldn't have asked for a better guide to lead me through the USS Arizona, than Donald. As images displayed on the monitors, he weaved together his memories of that day - and the events that forever changed the history of the world. Being a part of this exploration, and being allowed to share in Donald's experience as he saw the ship for the first time in 75 years, was one of the most emotional and rewarding moments of my life.

Navigating The USS Arizona

No human has entered the USS Arizona since it sank December 7, 1941. 1, 177 men died that day, the ship their final resting place. Memorialized as a burial site, the wreck has remained untouched. Extremely narrow corridors, as well as potential hazards from the oil which still leaks from the ship, have made even the exterior of the ship extremely dangerous for divers.

When the request came to Deep Trekker asking to utilize a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) to explore the interior of the USS Arizona, I willingly volunteered. Thrilled to be a part of history, I excitedly dropped the DTG2 ROV into the water, and with Donald guiding me, we worked our way inside the USS Arizona. Navigating through the confined, and dark spaces of the ship, we were able to shed light for the first time in 75 years on the inside of the historical site.

Views Inside The Arizona

inside uss arizona pearl harbor rov

For this expedition, we brought along two of our 4K capable underwater drones. We wanted to make sure that we captured every detail of the vessel in the highest quality; giving everyone the opportunity to experience and witness this amazing piece of American history.

Every turn brought a new experience and revealed treasures frozen in time; there was a mix of eerie and serene feelings all throughout the ship. Turning a corner to find the causatum of bombs dropped 76 years ago or discovering a phone still on their hook, these moments will never be forgotten.

Some of the Footage Captured

uss arizona pearl harbor rov sink

Sink onboard the USS Arizona

uss arizona pearl harbor rov bomb hole

Bomb hole - USS Arizona

uss arizona pearl harbor rov telephone

Telephone still on the hook - USS Arizona

uss arizona pearl harbor rov oil

Oil covering the ceiling - USS Arizona




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