Stern of USS West Virginia (BB-48) and USS Tennessee (BB-43)

Sailors on the stern of USS West Virginia (BB-48) in the foreground watch hoses on the stern USS Tennessee (BB-43) in the background try to drive back oil fires from USS Arizona (BB-39). Note West Virginia's National Ensign. Lieutenant Commander (later Captain) Thomas T. Beattie (March 16, 1899 - February 7, 1966) West Virginia's Navigator, later reported, "A large oil fire swept from the USS Arizona [BB-39] down the port side of the USS West Virginia. We had no water on board as the fire mains and machinery were out of commission and we were unable to do any fire fighting at all. I got into a motor launch to go to the stern of the ship to investigate the fire. The smoke was so heavy I could not see aft of the bridge. As I got into the boat a sheet of flame swept on top of us and we barely managed to get free of the fire. I then had the boat take me aft. The burning oil on the water swept by the ship and I managed to return to the quarterdeck. I realized then that the ship was lost."
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Archival Identifier: 
Date Photographed: 
Sunday, December 7, 1941
Pearl Harbor
United States of America