Top Must-see Sites at Pearl HarborAugust 31, 2021
DON'T MISS THESE HIDDEN GEMS OF HISTORY!
Once you know How to Visit Pearl Harbor it’s time to get excited for the historic exhibits and experiences at each site. The USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, Battleship Missouri Memorial, and the Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum are all rich with history and give insight into pieces of the Pearl Harbor story.
Our must-see guide to Pearl Harbor below will ensure you don’t miss any of Pearl Harbor’s attractions or experiences.
#1: Glass windows riddled with bullet holes from December 7, 1941 - Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum
Both Hangar 37 and Hangar 79 at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum withstood the attack and played a role in the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. To this day, Hangar 79 still holds evidence of that fateful morning with the glass windows bearing bullet holes from the attack.
Although the primary targets on December 7 were American warships, Japanese airmen attempted to disable as many aircraft as possible. The Japanese Zero and Kate pilots did not want any aircraft, big or small, to follow them and report back the location of the Japanese aircraft carriers. This made the hangars, aircraft, and airstrip on Ford Island a target during the attack.
Hangar 79 remained operational throughout the war. The bullet holes were left as a reminder to sailors they were working in a combat zone.
#2: Marks on the USS Missouri from being struck with a Kamikaze plane - Battleship Missouri Memorial
Many visit the USS Missouri to stand where the Japanese signed the official Instrument of Surrender, ending the second World War, but there is another must-see you won’t want to miss aboard the Mighty Mo.
On April 11, 1945, the USS Missouri was struck by a Japanese kamikaze plane on the starboard aft deck while northeast of Okinawa. There was minor damage to the battleship and no casualties on board. The Missouri’s commanding officer ordered the Japanese pilot be given a military burial. The next morning, sailors stood at attention to pay their respects. The pilot was recognized by a three-rifle volley, playing of “Taps,” and a message from the chaplain.
The force of impact from where the Japanese Zero aircraft struck the battleship can still be seen today. The Missouri also offers a one-of-a-kind kamikaze exhibit including artifacts rarely seen outside of Japan.
#3: Interactive submarine control room - pacific fleet submarine museum
The Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum recently underwent a large renovation, creating an exciting interactive museum with many must-see exhibits.
Chief among these experiential exhibits is a model control room where you are able to flip, switch, turn, and engage with the same switches which can be seen aboard the USS Bowfin and other historic submarines.
#4: The wall of names of those lost on December 7, 1941 in the shrine room - USS Arizona Memorial
Take a moment to honor the 1,177 sailors lost aboard the USS Arizona during the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor in the shrine room. The shrine room allows us to recognize, remember, and honor each person who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. All crewmembers whose names are memorialized on the wall and 44 sailors interred in the ship upon their death have found their final resting place in the USS Arizona.
#5: The USS Oklahoma Memorial
The USS Oklahoma Memorial is often missed on visits to Pearl Harbor, but is a must-see when visiting. The memorial is located just outside of the Missouri, and is accessible to all once on Ford Island via the free Pearl Harbor shuttle bus or other transportation.
The USS Oklahoma capsized at 8:08 a.m. on December 7, 1941, just 12 minutes after the first torpedo hit, trapping 429 officers, sailors, and Marines as it went down. The battleship no longer lies in Pearl Harbor, but the memorial recognizes and honors those whose lives were lost at the second greatest loss of life during the attack on Pearl Harbor.