New book about the USS Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A new book by Arizona author Jeff Phister chronicles the life and death of the USS Oklahoma.

It also looks at today's efforts to identify remains of crewmen killed during the Pearl Harbor attack.

The Oklahoma was among the first targeted by Japanese warplanes during the Dec. 7, 1941, attack that drove the United States into World War II.

The death toll of 429 is second only to that of the USS Arizona but little has been written about the Oklahoma.

Phister is a freelance biographer whose godfather - Edward Raymer - was a diver who spent 2½ years working to refloat the battleship.

Phister's "Battleship Oklahoma" is published by the University of Oklahoma Press and arrived in bookstores this month.

The Oklahoma was eventually refloated and stripped but while being towed across the Pacific to San Francisco for scrapping the ship sank in a storm.

A monument to the Oklahoma was dedicated in December 2007 at the Pearl Harbor site where it was berthed.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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