FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (KSAZ)
FDR called it a date which will live in infamy.
December 7, 1941 when World War II began for the United States.
The Japanese empire bombed US Navy at anchor in Pearl Harbor that day, destroying the USS Arizona which remains on the bottom of Pearl Harbor with more than 900 sailors entombed within the wreckage.
Seventy-five years later, the Arizona remains a war memorial.
FOX 10's Troy Hayden reports about the one Arizona man leading the effort to keep it that way.
"This year is the 100th anniversary of the launching of the ship so the Arizona is 100 years old and its been under water for 75 years. You can bet it's not the same ship today than it was even two years ago," said Pete Kelsey, Autodesk strategic projects executive.
"We could put people in the water and show them what the ship actually looks like and we've done that."
Pete Kelsey recently returned to his Flagstaff home, after two years studying, mapping, and re-creating the USS Arizona at the bottom of Pearl Harbor.
"It was high time somebody took a real close look at the ship and the memorial on the building itself," said Kelsey.
Seventy-five years ago this December 7th, the Arizona was destroyed by a Japanese bomb, killing 1,177 officers and crewmen.
"I will never forget my first dive on the ship," said Kelsey.
Kelsey is one of the few who have ever been allowed to dive on the Arizona.
"Being up on the bow turret one where the are, is really really something."
Most view the USS Arizona from the memorial which spans the ship from above. More than one and a half million every year, that is when it isn't closed. The memorial shut down for a time in June, after a Navy Hospital ship bumped into its dock.
"Fortunately pretty minor damage to the dock no damage to the ship," said Kelsey.
With the help of Kelsey's company, Autodesk, and many, many more who volunteered their time the scan of the Arizona was completed with some of the most sophisticated tools ever used underwater.
"Two or three types of sonar two or three types of laydar which is basically laser scanning."
The end result, a 3-D image of the ship the National Park Service can use as a baseline to measure any future changes.
"As you can see it's in 3-D. It's hyper accurate," said Kelsey.
After completing their scans they thought, why not take it one step further?
"When we said we want to print a three-foot-one to 200-foot scale of the ship they said we have a brand new machine that can do it," said Kelsey.
They being "White Cloud" of Salt Lake City agreed to make a 3-D printed model of the Arizona. The time-lapsed video shows the result of their work, an astonishingly accurate model in every detail.
"Turret three which sticks out of the water that everyone gets to see from the memorial."
"This is the ships funnel or smokestack."
"As we move up here to turret one this is where the ship exploded."
Kelsey hopes the 3-D virtual tour of the ship and the model can help bring the Arizona back to life.
"Was it worth it? Absolutely worth it," said Kelsey.
And that the Arizona remains a place where we can remember the sacrifice of so many.
"A woman tourist came up to me and said 'excuse me do you mind if I ask what you are doing what is the project' I said we are trying to virtualize the ship to make sure it remains safe and intact forever and she started to cry and I thought that I had broken some kind of protocol. She put her hand on my shoulder and said no no no thank you thank you thank you because my grandfather is in there he never got out and I cried my eyes out."