USS Arizona and Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum Tour

USS Arizona and Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum Tour

This tour begins with a bus pick-up at your hotel in Waikiki (or a hotel close by) and includes the full Arizona experience. The Arizona was sunk as part of the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Navy on December 7th, 1941. This tour includes tickets for the National Park Service movie and boat ride out to the Memorial, a graceful structure that spans the sunken battleship. You will also have time to visit the two National Park Service exhibit galleries, “Road to War” and “Attack.”

Your visit to the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum begins in Hangar 37, a 42,000 square foot former seaplane hangar that survived the December 7, 1941 attack. After arrival in Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum’s lobby, guests enter a 200-seat theater where they view a 12 minute movie covering the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, including historic footage. Leaving the theater visitors enter a corridor that sets the stage with sound effects and photos of what life was like in the Islands before 1941. Upon entering the exhibit area of 25,000 square feet, visitors first see an authentic Japanese Zero in a diorama setting on the deck of the Japanese carrier Hiryu at dawn on December 7th. Also in the hangar is a light civilian plane that was airborne and shot during the Oahu attack, together with a P-40 fighter of the type airborne from Wheeler and Haleiwa Field on the fateful day. Visitors will then be enthralled with an exhibit relating a story, both before and after, of one of the Japanese Zeros that crash landed on the island of Niihau.

The year 1942 was one of “desperate courage.” Exhibits include an actual B-25B Mitchell similar to one used in the Doolittle Raid on Japan in April, 1942. An SBD Dauntless dive bomber is the centerpiece in our retelling of the Battle of Midway. An authentic F4F Wildcat is featured in the Guadalcanal diorama as the story of the “Cactus Air Force” is told. Finally, the story of America’s mobilization for war – manufacturing airplanes and training pilots in particular – is told using the actual Stearman N2S-3 in which former President George H.W. Bush soloed.

Hangar 79 is an 80,000 square foot seaplane hangar. At each end, the hangar doors’ blue glass windows are still riddled with bullet holes left by the Japanese attack. During the war it was a maintenance and engine repair facility, filled with fighters, bombers and patrol aircraft that were based in Pearl Harbor or en route to the front lines. Today, it holds many of our modern jets and historic helicopters. Featured is the MiG Alley Korean War Exhibit. Showcasing the Museum’s MiG-15 and F-86 Sabre aircraft which flew during the Korean War, the exhibit features a life-sized diorama that depicts “MiG Alley,” the name given by U.S. Air Force pilots to the northwestern portion of North Korea. The Museum’s F-86 Sabre, which has been restored for the exhibit, and the Museum’s Soviet-designed MiG-15 were the aircraft used throughout most of the Korean conflict.

Your tour also includes a stop at the National Cemetery of the Pacific located in Punchbowl Crater, where over 38,000 men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces have been buried.

Downtown Honolulu – As you drive through downtown Honolulu, you’ll view the 18 foot tall Statue of King Kamehameha located right across the street from the Iolani Palace. Kawaiahao Church, the church of the monarchs, the first Christian church in Hawaii is also one of the attractions as well as the Mission Houses Museum. Also included is the State Library and Archives as well as Honolulu Hale (City Hall). Enjoy these sites as your driver recounts the rich history of these Hawaiian Landmarks.

Important Tour Tips

Security Restrictions at Pearl Harbor – Bags that offer concealment, such as purses, handbags, backpacks, fanny packs, camera bags, diaper bags, luggage, etc. that exceed the measurements of 1.5" X 2.25" X 5.5," are not allowed at the monument. The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park has a baggage storage facility near the entrance to the visitor center. There is a fee of $5 per bag for all sizes, including luggage. Storage is available daily from 6:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Visitors may use the same bag storage and parking stall for visits to all Pearl Harbor Historic Sites. Security measures are strictly enforced at all visitor destinations on Pearl Harbor.

Appropriate Attire – You will be doing a lot of walking, much of it outside. Closed toed, comfortable shoes are recommended, consider wearing a hat, and be sure to wear sunscreen, as the sun is more intense in Hawaii than many parts of the world. Swim wear is not appropriate for visiting the Arizona Memorial.