A frequent pre-war winner of the Navy's coveted Iron Man trophy, the crew of the battleship California (BB-44) proved after Pearl Harbor that even Japan's biggest bombs couldn't keep a good ship down.
Though it was as much a blow to America's national pride as it was a military defeat, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 could easily have been far more disastrous than it really was.
That the United States Navy lost eight battleships in one telling blow....it appeared to be a monumental setback to the country's Naval arm. However, in reality, only two of these ships would never steam again. All the others eventually were repaired and returned to service.