Silver Selections from the USS Oklahoma exhibit closes
January 5, 2024
The Oklahoma History Center Museum will have pieces of silver service from the USS Oklahoma on display through January 5, 2024, to commemorate the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The complete set consists of 55 pieces. Only select pieces will be available for public view.
On December 7, 1941, the USS Oklahoma was one of eight battleships docked at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Honolulu, Hawaii, when it came under attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service. The USS Oklahoma suffered 429 casualties, and the battleship capsized due to multiple torpedo strikes.
The tradition of creating presentation silver sets for American warships of the “first rank” began with the USS Maine in the late 1890s. Continuing this tradition, the Oklahoma Legislature appropriated $7,500 in 1913 to create a silver service to express the state’s pride in having a new battleship named for the state. It was designed by Walter Dean of Oklahoma City and executed by Gorham Silversmiths of New York. The USS Oklahoma was christened on March 23, 1914, and the service was presented to the ship at that time. The service was used on the battleship from 1914 until 1941 but was removed before the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and stored at the Puget Sound Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington.
In 1946 after World War II, the Oklahoma Historical Society appointed a committee to find the silver service and return it to the state. In 1947 the US Navy loaned the silver service to the Oklahoma Historical Society. After thorough polishing and repair, it went on public display.
For more information, please call 405-522-0765.