#PearlHarbor75: Navy divers and salvage teams

Graphic of Pearl Harbor divers and a Sailor

The 75th commemoration of the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor and other U.S. military facilities on Oahu is an opportunity for us to honor the courage, service and sacrifice of the U.S. military personnel present during the attacks.

Our Navy divers and salvage teams were among them. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Navy divers began the most immense dive and salvage operations to date. Throughout 1942 and part of 1943, Navy divers worked on salvaging destroyers, supply ships, and other badly damaged vessels.

The divers faced extraordinary dangers: poisonous gas, unexploded ordnance, as well as the unknown of the destruction that awaited them below. Through the course of the Pearl Harbor effort, Navy divers spent approximately 16,000 hours underwater, during 4,000 dives. Contract civilian divers contributed another 4,000 diving hours.

In this video, Navy diver, Petty Officer Melissa Nguyen-Alarcon, of Winthrop, Maine, shares how their toughness, accountability, integrity and initiative has influenced her.

U.S. Navy video by Petty Officer 2nd Class Johans Chavarro

Learn more about the Pearl Harbor attack.