The United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii, is significant historically as a strategic port that helped the United States become a formidable world power. Construction of the base at Pearl Harbor commenced in 1908 and officially opened when the USS California sailed into harbor in 1911. By 1916 Pearl Harbor was the headquarters of a naval district and subsequently became the command center for the Pacific Fleet. The naval base contains approximately 300 buildings of historic significance, but among the most notable are Drydock #1, the Arizona and Utah Memorials, and moorings F6, 7 and 8.
The Pearl Harbor Naval Base is the site of the December 7, 1941 surprise aerial attack by the Japanese upon American Pacific forces, that thrust the United States into World War II. This devastating attack took more than 2,000 lives. The battleship USS Arizona was sunk and 1,177 American crewmen were entombed within its confines. Altogether 18 ships were sunk or disabled. Of the eight battleships at Pearl Harbor the Arizona, California and West Virginia were sunk; the Nevada was grounded; the Oklahoma capcized, and the others were damaged. The remains of the USS Arizona today serve as a memorial to the men who lost their lives that fateful day. The shrine which rests atop the ship's superstructure can be accessed by motor launch. Pearl Harbor has continued its role as a United States naval base since 1911.
The United States Naval Base, Pearl Harbor, a National Historic Landmark, is located along Hwy. 73 three miles south of Pearl City on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Due to heightened security, access to the base is restricted with exception to the USS Arizona Memorial. A virtual tour is available online.
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