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    USS Arizona artifact arrives in Rhode Island



    Story by Kalen Arreola 

    Naval Station Newport

    WAKEFIELD, R.I. -- Naval Station Newport personnel had the honor of joining leadership from the World War II (WWII) Foundation, WWII veterans, veteran service organizations and U.S. Senator Jack Reed this morning to accept and transfer a piece of Naval History – a 220-lb. metal piece of the USS Arizona – from Warwick to Wakefield, R.I.

    The Navy has had a presence in Narragansett Bay dating back to the revolution but was at the height of its activity following the events that sank the USS Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941.

    The threat of a major war against the Third Reich had perked up naval activity beginning in 1940. Thousands of recruits were going through training in Newport, additional property was acquired as a Supply Station, new fuel facilities were built at Melville, along with a PT Boat Training Center, where John F. Kennedy received his training, and a Net Depot.

    The Navy Torpedo station, which was established in 1869 on Goat Island in Newport, worked around the clock employing 13,000 people and manufacturing 80 percent of the torpedoes that were used by the United States in WWII.

    “It is fitting to have a piece of this ship, a memorial to the 1,177 Sailors and Marines killed aboard her that day, here in the Ocean State,” said Capt. Nick Rapley, during his brief remarks following the arrival of the artifact in Warwick.

    The Navy in the Ocean State responded to support the efforts needed to respond to the attack that sunk the Arizona.

    “Here in Rhode Island, we fueled and repaired ships needed to protect convoys transporting troops, equipment and supplies to the war in Europe. We trained, and continue to train, the men and women manning the ships and leading our fleets,” Rapley said.

    “This relic will remind us of the courage and sacrifice of those Sailors and Marines who raced to their battle stations and opened fire on enemy planes, even as their ships were ablaze and sinking; of men who were willing to plunge into murky water to pull shipmates to safety; of rescuers who dared to race their boats into the patches of burning oil to snatch a Sailor or Marine from a watery grave.

    “We cherish our heritage. As the commanding officer of the Navy Supply Corps School, I assure you that we teach our young leaders to always honor those who came before us. The lessons learned by those who served make us a stronger organization. This is not just a piece of metal from a sunken ship. It symbolizes sacrifice, bravery, hope, and the power of a nation united to a cause greater than any individuals. Thank you for bringing this here to Rhode Island.”
    The new museum has not yet opened to the public but is the result of a quest of Tim Gray, Chairman of the WWII Foundation, and a Wakefield resident.

    Tim Gray is an award winning documentary film maker. His foundation has filmed 21 productions to date that air on the majority of PBS stations around the United States and the world.

    Tim Gray Media and the World War II Foundation has been recognized by american Public Television with its National Programming Excellence Award.



    Date Taken: 12.17.2018
    Date Posted: 12.18.2018 09:29
    Story ID: 304037
    Location: WAKEFIELD, RI, US 
    Hometown: WAKEFIELD, RI, US

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