Capital Campaign – Your Investment is Needed
Freedom’s View – Our Vision
December 7, 1941, the “date which will live in infamy,” changed our nation forever. Our country responded to the attack with a can-do spirit, a unified commitment to freedom, and unleashed a production capability and an innovative fervor that awed enemies and allies alike.
Pearl Harbor, a strategic stronghold in our national defense, will forever be a reminder of our national commitment to freedom. The 2016 commemoration of the 75th Pearl Harbor attack anniversary reminded us all of the importance of honoring the events of our past, and using them to educate, promote understanding, and inspire our future.
Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is dedicated to stewarding the grounds, buildings and artifacts that make up the National Historic Landmark site on which it is located, an American aviation battlefield.
Click here to view the full Master Plan .
Our Campaign Progress – Phase 1 and Phase 2 Achievements
The Museum was incorporated in 1999. A volunteer Board of Directors mapped a vision that included three WWII historic hangars and the Ford Island Control Tower within a 16- acre complex. As part of the redevelopment of Ford Island, the Navy committed the proposed acreage for a historic visitor attraction in 2004.
With contributions ranging from $5,000 to $150,000 from 233 Founding Donors — together with government support construction began on the museum’s $16 million Phase One within two years of the project launch.
On December 7, 2006, Hangar 37 opened to the public. Since that time, visitation growth has averaged 15% annually. The two millionth-visitor was welcomed in July 2017. The 42,000-square-foot Hangar 37 includes: a theater; exhibit gallery; flight simulators; education center; restaurant; gift shop; and administrative offices. Exhibits cover pre-World War II background, events surrounding the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the early battles that followed. Museum visitation sustains operations, a noteworthy achievement strengthened by dedicated staff and volunteers.
In 2008, Hangar 79, an 86,000-sq.-ft. WWII hangar, opened to visitors. Cleared of hazardous materials, and maintained in its “as it was” condition, windows riddled by bullets fired on December 7, 1941 can still be seen. In its interim use state, the hangar provides a venue for display of newly-received aircraft, observation of restoration projects underway, and an opportunity to meet volunteers who served on Ford Island in 1941.
In 2010, Federal, State, and private support facilitated restoration of the Ford Island Control Tower. Years of deferred maintenance and exposure to corrosive salt-air had put the structure at risk. The $4.2 million project included hazardous materials abatement and the replacement of 53 tons of steel to keep the tower itself structurally sound. Although this effort, completed in 2012, produced tremendous impact, funding was not sufficient to complete the restoration. The tower itself and the adjacent Operations Building remain closed to the public.
Concurrent with capital projects, the Museum developed a robust education program:
- “Barnstorming”, an outreach program delivered to more than 4,000 students each year in schools on Oahu, and neighbor islands, uses the excitement of flight to stimulate interest in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
- Museum field trips provide more than 5,000 youth annually a museum-based immersive experience, combining exploration of STEM topics within the context of the historic site.
- Formal Boy Scout programs reach 500 youth annually, building leadership, character and academic insight into aviation-related topics.
- Summer Flight Schools and Aviation Adventures provide day and overnight experiences for 200 students each year. These programs immerse them in the sciences of flight, the history of our site, and inspire learning and leadership.
- Public programs that help young people: 1) explore aviation and aerospace careers (e.g. “Discover Your Future in Aviation”); and 2) learn more about the men and women throughout history who have impacted our lives (e.g. “Living History Day”); reach 20,000 youth annually.
Phase 3 Begins!
A 27-member National Leadership Committee — chaired by former General Motors’ Vice Chairman Robert Lutz — was formed in 2014 to: 1) spearhead national participation in the 75th commemoration of the attack on Pearl Harbor; and 2) initiate support for targeted Phase 3 capital investments.
Hawaii Campaign Committee
A Hawaii-based Capital Campaign Committee, comprised of board and non-board community members, was formed in 2016. The Local Campaign Committee will lead the way for a “pacesetter” campaign to launch our Phase 3 efforts. The fundraising focus will include the following primary elements:
Why our mission matters today
The mission of Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is to develop and maintain an internationally recognized aviation museum on historic Ford Island that is dedicated to educating young and old alike, honoring aviators and their support personnel who defended freedom in the Pacific Region, and preserving Pacific aviation history.
Knowledge of Pearl Harbor and WWII, like other events in our history, is diminishing. Yet, our collective recall, and understanding the events of our past, provide the foundational elements that shape our future. A volunteer museum guide, providing a tour to a typical American family on vacation in Hawaii, lamented the shocking response he got to his rhetorical question, “Who knows about Pearl Harbor?” was, “No, who was she?”
Historic monuments, museums and learning centers — such as we envision for Ford Island — are not only markers of the past, but inspiration for our future.
Levels of Support
- Guardian $5,000 – $9,999
- Provider $10,000 – $24,999
- Defender $25,000 – $49,999
- Avenger $50,000 – $99,999
- Crusader $100,000 – $149,999
- Liberator $150,000 and above
Phase 3 Capital Campaign Projects
Completion of the Master Plan requires investment in the following areas:
Control Tower – The most iconic building in our “collection” — the Ford Island Control Tower — will provide visitors the only elevated view of all Pearl Harbor. The structure shares the story of WWII and the emergence of the American character as the values of “Our Greatest Generation” solidified. Once restored, the public will have access to the upper control cab, and the two-story tower atop the Operations Building that served as the runway control center on December 7, 1941. A library, and other public use spaces, along with offices and archival areas are planned.
Hangar 79 – The 86,000-square-foot hangar will detail the phases of WWII — from training, logistics, shipping out, and the battles themselves — to the preparations for peace. Exhibits, aircraft, immersive environments, and personal stories will enrich the visitor experience.
Interpretive Pavilion – This self-standing exhibit will bring context to Pearl Harbor attack, and provide visitors a “You are here” reference, incorporating their visit into the hallowed grounds of this American battlefield. The pavilion’s design will incorporate a significant tribute a place to honor all men and women who served. It will offer respite, encourage reflections, and intergenerational sharing.
Education Center – We also plan to develop a free-standing, youth education center — a Learning Lab. This will be an appropriate use of Building 97, which was the Link Trainer flight simulator facility during WWII. The Learning Lab will include a WWII Link Trainer on display, and modern day technology to help engage and excite young learners. The Learning Lab will provide academic preparation and immersion into core STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) using aviation as the teaching tool. The Learning Lab will also include programming that enables character and leadership development by exploring the values of “our Greatest Generation,” and teaching the skills that underpin decision-making.