ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. – Two Indiana high school students spent several years creating a 60.8 inch replica of the USS Arizona to teach people about the history of the boat and raise money for veterans.
Logan Roser and Atticus Bennett, both 16-years-old, are self-proclaimed World War II history buffs.
They learned about the USS Arizona in history class. “She was the single largest loss of life on a warship in WWII and played a key role entering the United States into WWII. I knew that she still lay in Pearl Harbor and that she would be most widely recognized and respected,” they told FOX59.
Roser saw a model of the USS Arizona online, but it was out of his price range. So he decided to build a bigger and better one with Bennett’s help.
Between planning and building, it took the pair three years to complete the project.
“Her inner construction is made up of 2×6’s and 2×4’s, the decks and keel (bottom of ship) are constructed of 1/2 inch plywood, and her outer skin is a 1/4 inch Luan board. The superstructure is made of wood and custom turned aluminum parts,” they said.
Roser says he still wants to add remote controlled electronics to the ship for demonstrations in the water.
“The overall plan is to take her around to teach people her history and the men who served aboard,” Roser said.
Ultimately, the pair wants to raise money for military veterans by opening their own non-profit to give back. They would also love it if a museum put the ship on display to help raise money as well.
They would like to give the donations to Honor Flight Northeast Indiana, Pacific Historic Parks, and Shepard’s House in Fort Wayne for homeless veterans.
They plan to build more WWII warships in the exact scale as the Arizona. “Currently in the line-up is first the U.S.S. Indianapolis (CA-35) and after that the U.S.S. Yorktown (CV-5),” Roser said.