Support ongoing and major capital investments to restore and steward the historic structures and artifacts that share the history of December 7, 1941 and beyond, ensuring lessons of the past continue to provide the foundation for our future.
Hangar 79 is an 86,000-square-foot seaplane hangar. At each end, the hangar doors’ blue glass windows are still riddled with bullet holes left by the attack. During the war, it was an aircraft assembly and engine maintenance repair facility. It was filled with fighters, bombers, and patrol aircraft based in Pearl Harbor or en route to the front lines.
The Master Plan identifies Hangar 79 as the WWII display hangar. Exhibits will take visitors on a journey, from the attack on Pearl Harbor through all the major battles in the Pacific theater to the end of the war. From a nation challenged to support such an effort, to the stages of war and the significant battles, exhibits will introduce visitors to the personal stories of valor that defined our Greatest Generation.
Hangar 79 opened to the public in its “as is” state in 2008. Since that time, The Shealy Restoration Shop, a working aircraft restoration shop, opened. It was funded by the family of a WWII veteran stationed in this very hangar. Inside The Shealy Restoration Shop, staff and volunteers work to restore all acquired aircraft, returning these treasures to display quality to support future exhibits.
Ford Island Control Tower
In 2010-2012, with federal support, Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum took steps to stabilize the historic Ford Island Control Tower. Nearly destroyed by the corrosive effect of salt air, over 53 tons of steel were replaced to ensure that this iconic building did not collapse.
Though the $4.2 million raised facilitated the stabilization effort, it fell short of fully restoring the structure and opening it to the public. Effort continues to complete the restoration of the Ford Island Control Tower. Since that time, $650,000 in state and private support helped restore the Aerological Tower, the two-story structure atop the Operations Building that served as the fight line control cab on December 7, 1941 before it was relocated to the top of the water tank.
A grant of $1.5 million was received from the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust to restore the first floor of the Operations Building, installing a library and archive to share our collection with the public. Repair of the elevator to provide access to the upper control cab is underway with support from U-Haul International and the Schoen family. Pending funding, work to finish the restoration of the second floor of the Operations Building, repair of the upper control cab and replacement of deteriorated windows throughout the structure will complete the restoration of this piece of American history. Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum hopes to open the facility to the public in 2020.