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Pearl Harbor: More Than Just The USS Arizona Memorial

The USS Arizona Memorial

Everyone who has ever heard of Hawaii has heard of Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial.   They almost always know the story behind the opening hours of the U.S. entry into World War II that included the sinking of the battleship USS Arizona and the tragic loss of 1177 men that went down with her.  The USS Arizona Memorial is one of the most visited attractions in Hawaii.

Mighty Mo

Some are even aware of the presence of the USS Battleship Missouri Memorial located nearby.  For those who may not be familiar with that part of US history, the deck of the USS Missouri is where the treaty with Japan was signed, thus bringing the war with Japan to an end.  So, in effect, you can see where the war began and ended in one celebrated location.

Submarine, USS Bowfin

A third attraction located at Pearl Harbor that many visit is the World War II vintage submarine, the USS Bowfin.  The salvage and restoration of this submarine is the result of years of effort and cooperation between both military and civilian volunteers.   The process began with its purchase on August 3, 1979.  The Dillingham Corporation did much of the preliminary restoration work as many Navy League members worked hard to secure the necessary funds to support the project.

In December 1980, it was moved to its current location, near the Visitor’s Center for the USS Arizona Memorial.  And, officially opened as a museum ship on April 1, 1981.   In 1986, it was named a National Historic Landmark.

USS Oklahoma

The battleship USS Oklahoma, like its sister ship USS Arizona, was also sunk in those opening hours of World War II, the morning of December 7, 1941.   It went down with 429 Marines and Sailors and now, they are also paid tribute to with the opening of the USS Oklahoma Memorial, which opened fittingly on December 7, 2007.

Pacific Aviation Museum

Last, but certainly not least, is the Pacific Aviation Museum located on Ford Island, a short shuttle ride from the Visitor’s Center to the Arizona Memorial.  It includes the 42,000 square foot Hangar 37, which includes aircraft from World War II, including a Japanese Zero and from the Korean War.   In addition, there is also Hangar 79, which houses aircraft from the Vietnam War era to the present.  There are both, self-tours and docent-guided tours available.

These are all must-see displays and tours for World War II history-buffs.  You can easily spend a full-day going from attraction to attraction.  I always suggest that you arrive early, even if you only plan on viewing the USS Arizona Memorial.  While admission is free to the USS Arizona Memorial, there are small charges from $10-$30 per adult, for the other attractions mentioned.

Pearl Harbor remains a very active part of the US Navy and is the only naval base in the US to be designated a National Historical Landmark.  As a result, the following security measures are enforced and you should plan accordingly.  Do not bring items listed or you will have to pay $3/bag for them to be held.

Security Measures
trict security measures prohibit purses, handbags, fanny packs, backpacks, camera bags, diaper bags, luggage and/or other items that offer concealment. Visitors may bring a camera and cam-recorder. A storage facility, operated by the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park is available in the immediate area of the entrance to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. There is a nominal storage fee of $3/bag. The storage facility is in operation daily 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Visitors may use the same bag storage and parking stall for visits to all Pearl Harbor Historic Sites.

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