Skip to Main Content

USS Arizona memorial.
USS Arizona memorial.

USS Arizona Anchor, Mast, Gun Barrel

Field review by the editors.

Phoenix, Arizona

The World War II memorial in Wesley Bolin Memorial Park is centered around two massive battleship guns from two separate, mighty American warships. They're presented as symbolic "bookends" to the conflict -- one associated with the USS Arizona, sunk by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 -- starting the war -- and the other from the USS Missouri, present for Japan's surrender in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945, ending the global conflagration.

USS Arizona Anchor.
USS Arizona Anchor.

The sinking of the Arizona, along with most of the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor, still makes Hawaii the go-to memorial destination, where a viewing platform floats over the Arizona's submerged hull. However, the battleship's namesake state ended up with key pieces salvaged from the wreck -- the flag mast and the anchor. The 14-inch gun barrel was technically not on the Arizona when it was sunk -- the gun had been removed earlier, relined and put into subsequent enemy shelling service on the USS Nevada.

Battleship gun barrel.
Battleship gun barrel.

The 16-inch gun barrel from the USS Missouri is one of nine on the 887 ft. long battleship. The Missouri was launched in 1944, late in the war, and fired shells at Pacific Theater actions in Okinawa, Iwo Jima, and along the coast of Japan, and survived a kamikaze strike.

Signal mast.
Signal mast from the USS Arizona.

The Arizona's 10-ton anchor is another focus of the memorial plaza, positioned on a circular pedestal with a length of giant metal chain. The monument was dedicated in 1976 for the U.S. Bicentennial. Plaques list the Marines and Navy seamen lost in the attack.

The Signal Mast (AKA the Pig-Stick") is the upper 26 feet of the sunken ship's main mast. A plaque details its journey: salvaged soon after the attack, erected at the naval armory in Lorain, Ohio for training purposes (and as we have observed, Ohio cherishes sunken battleship mementos). After the armory was razed in 1980, the mast ended up stored in someone's yard for ten years. Eventually its value was recognized -- a USS Arizona signal mast committee purchased the relic, and donated it to the state of Arizona in 1990.

Nine sets of blue steel pillars symbolize the nine minutes it took after bombing for the USS Arizona to sink. The memorial contains other elements acknowledging the deaths of more than 400,000 U.S. service men and women in the war.

USS Arizona Anchor, Mast, Gun Barrel

Wesley Bolin Memorial Park

1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ
East side of Wesley Bolin Memorial Park near Washington St.
Public park. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Arizona K-9 MemorialArizona K-9 Memorial, Phoenix, AZ - < 1 mi.
Navajo Code Talker StatueNavajo Code Talker Statue, Phoenix, AZ - < 1 mi.
Prince Tribute MuralPrince Tribute Mural, Phoenix, AZ - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Bonanza Ranch House, Mesa, AZ - 24 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Arizona

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Arizona.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Save Cool Vacation Destinations! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Arizona Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Congressional Cemetery: A Not-Grave Graveyard, Washington, DC (Feb 19-25, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings