Pearl Harbour, Oahu
We visited the USS Bowfin submarine (pic 1) early in the morning at about 8.30! I know it’s too early but the submarines aren’t like your cruise ship, you really have limited of space to move around so it’s better to see it without anyone else inside (there was another couple that got inside and left in 5’! I don’t know what they were expecting).
First of all take advantage of the free audio tour, it will help you to understand every little button you see. At some parts of the submarine a lady gave us some extra information too. The audio tour focus on the daily life of the crew and how they managed to live in such a small place. You can see all the small and big buttons of the submarine (pics 2-3) but also the sleeping areas (pic 4), the kitchen (pic 5) etc Definitely, it wasn’t a place for people suffering of claustrophobia!
The submarine launched in 1942 and sank 44 ships before the end of WWII, I guess it was a good number.
The ticket for the Bowfin Submarine costs $10 and includes the small museum next to it.
War is a bad thing and there are places like this that you can see why. Of course, from a natiolalist point of view it depends on which side you are with but then you will miss the point. The 15‘ we stayed on Arizona Memorial gave us food for thought about human nature...
Anyway, Pearl Harbor bay is famous all over the world for the japanese attack on December 7, 1941. More than 300 japanese planes managed to cause 2403 deaths of us soldiers in less than 2 hours! 9 vessels sunked and 12 other seriously damaged. So, yes, there is a lot of history here. The Arizona Memorial shows respect to those that died that day, the USS Bowfin submarine and the Missouri Battleship will put you inside a little more while the surrounded museums will fill the last question you may have. You will need half a day to see everything though.
Upon your arrival at Pearl Harbor you have to orient yourself! You have to know where everything is because some sights are away from here so you have to plan ahead the order of the things you will see. The visitor center and the museum for the Arizona Memorial and the Bowfin Submarine are located next to each other but Missouri Battleship and the Pacific Aviation Museum are on Ford Island. A shuttle bus will take you there, it departs near the luggage store, it’s free but you have to show your ticket of the USS Missouri or The Pacific Aviation Museum for boarding.
Then prepare for long queues! First you have to go to the right at the luggage store and leave there your backbacks, purses or camera bags! It costed us $3. Don’t worry about water, you will find free tap water and there is also a cafe. Then proceed to the box office for your tickets. Spend time and decide in advance what you want to see. Some sights are for free, for some others have a fee, but for all of them you need a ticket anyway. We took our free tickets for Arizona Memorial at 8.15 but we’ve been told that we had to be at Arizona Memorial museum at 9.15. So, we spend the 60‘ at the Bowfin Submarine and the Submarine museum, then we visited Arizona Memorial and then the Ford Island. If you have to wait more than 2 hours go to USS Missouri/Pacific Aviation Museum first. If you just want to visit Arizona Memorial you can wait at the cafe and drink something.
Here’s the tickets prices(2009):
USS Bowfin, Battleship Missouri & Pacific Aviation Museum $37
USS Bowfin & Battleship Missouri $24
USS Bowfin & Pacific Aviation Museum $22
Battleship Missouri & Pacific Aviation Museum $28
USS Bowfin only $10 (incudes a small museum)
Battleship Missouri only $16
Pacific Aviation Museum only $14
Arizona Memorial free
You should definitely check out "Hawaii Army Museum" because it's so near Waikiki, actually in Waikiki.
http://www.hiarmymuseumsoc.org/. It's in the middle of Waikiki so if you stay in or near Waikiki you can easily walk over to the museum.
Military/history buffs should put these on their list when visiting Oahu: USS Arizona Memorial, USS Bowfin (tour of an actual WW2 submarine), USS Missouri (tour of actual WW2 US Navy battleship), and the Pacific Aviation Museum.
This web page http://www.ussmissouri.org/visitor-information#directions shows that you can visit Battleship Missouri - Pacific Aviation Museum - and USS Bowfin with a combo ticket ($37 adult, $17 child). The same web page says it takes about 5 hrs to visit these 3: Battleship Missouri - Pacific Aviation Museum - and USS Bowfin.
USS Arizona Memorial:
Special note about USS Arizona Memorial & USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center (they are physically separated!):
The only tricky thing is you need to pick up a numbered ticket at the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center for the boat ride to the actual USS Arizona Memorial. So you will need to go to USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center early in the morning to get a numbered ticket. I believe all the tickets are gone by mid morning. If you're lucky with your boat departure time, you can safely walk over to visit Bowfin Museum and the USS Bowfin Submarine without worrying about missing the boat ride to the actual USS Arizona Memorial.
Pacific Aviation Museum:
Got this from http://gohawaii.about.com/od/pearlharbor/fr/PAM_PearlHarbor.htm
In order to visit the Pacific Aviation Museum, you must park at the Arizona Memorial parking lot, purchase a ticket at the nearby USS Bowfin ticket office and then board the Ford Island Trolley at the Trolley stop in front of the USS Bowfin Memorial. Since the museum is on an active Military Base security procedures are in effect. NO BAGS are allowed on the Trolley. You may bring a camera, but no bags whatsoever.
So I'd do this,
**Check out website of the 4 destinations first
1. go EARLY to the Arizona Memorial Visitor Center for the tickets.
2. You can walk over to the USS Bowfin boat and museum (switch with #3 depending on when your boat ride is)
3. take the boat ride to the Arizona Memorial Visitor Center and back. (switch with #2 depending on when your boat ride is)
4. Take the shuttle from the USS Bowfin Museum to the USS Missouri. Touring the ship requires going up and down some ladders I assume so I'd do this before last stop). I don't know if you can walk from USS Missouri to the Pacific Aviation Museum. You should call the museum to find out.
5. The Pacific Aviation Museum.
You should check their websites for opening/closing times before finalizing the plan. There are shuttles to/from the Museums from the Waikiki hotels. Check with the hotels for shuttle time.
In honor of the military personnel who lost their lives in the USS Arizona during the bombing of the Japanese in World War II, the USS Arizona Memorial was erected in Pearl Harbor. Come here and reflect in silence, but be prepared for the long lines. And if you’d like, also visit the USS Missouri, aka the “Mighty Mo”, a 58,000 ton battleship that’s an addition to the harbor.
Note: Tip originally written for Jan. 2003 visit to Oahu.
Alot of things have changed since I have last been here. First of all, it even more crowded than ever. They say that after September 11th there are even more visitors to Pearl HArbour. There is also much more security. Dont bring any bags or even purses here because you will not be able to take it in. There are lockers where you can keep your stuff locked up if you wish.
This memorial was designed by architect Alfred Preis and its built over the USS Arizona which is a battleship that was destroyed and sank on December 7th, 1941.
If you dont want to wait in line too long get here early. Try to make the first couple of tours. The later you go the more your wait will be. The tours go every 15 minutes and they are on time to the minute. You will go into the auditorium where you will see a short film and a survivor of Pearl Harbour will talk about what he was doing on that day. Its very interesting. On the back of your tickets there will be information on a soldier that was there at Pearl Harbour. After the film you will take a short boat trip to the memorial.
I never even kew this place was here. On this visit to Pearl Harbour, we got here a little late. We had to wait about two hours to get into the auditorium so we had some time to look at everything. The USS Arizona Memorial Musuem is a nice way to kill some time while you wait to get in. It is free and there is alot of informative things to see here including pictures, models, maps, books and souveniers.
Stop by and check it out for a little more information of what happened that day at Pearl Harbour.
We booked a shuttle through RELIABLE to this solemn memorial on Sunday morning. We were picked up at 8:20 a.m. and arrived around 9:10 a.m. The cost was $36.00 for three of us, plus a tip.
(pic #2) You'll be given a ticket at the visitors center designating the time you board
(pic #3) The shuttle boat takes you to the site.
(pic #4) The gift shop, where you'll find memorabilia related to this event
Our guidebook urged us to be at the memorial by 7-7:30 am, but our driver said that he had dropped people off at that time and the line was triple to what we experienced at a later arrival.
A small museum displayed artifacts, models of various ships, torpedos, maps and other pertinent information on the bombing of Pearl Harbor. An audio tour of the museum is available. After this we waited for our tour to be called....
*There is no charge to tour the USS Arizona Memorial. At the visitor's center a 23 minute movie is shown of the Battle of Pearl Harbor before boarding the shuttle.
Just as the USS Arizona memorial signified the start of WW2 for the U.S., the USS Missouri completes the circle since it's where the Japanese surrendered. This was the "world's last operational battleship" and the last one commissioned by the U.S.
To begin your tour, you must locate the USS Bowfin submarine at Pearl Harbor. It's here that you purchase your ticket (about $16 each) and catch the bus taking you to the USS Missouri, affectionately referred to as Mighty Mo.
Once you board the ship, you'll be moving clockwise to the various sites:
the main battery
the wardroom and museum exhibit
Kamikaze attack site,
tomahawk deck (added in the 1980's),
a view of their weapons system
see their flying bridge and conning tower
the surrender deck
As we disembarked, we were told not to take any photos or talk in more than a whisper. We were to enter the memorial respectful of the men entombed below on the USS Arizona (pic #2).
As we moved to the back of the memorial through a narrow doorway, a room opened up before us and an entire wall enscribed with the names of those who lost their lives on this ship appeared.
At the left side of the wall memorial, another list was etched in stone--men who survived the bombing but desired to be placed with their shipmates after passing on later in life.
pic #3 Oil leaking from the submerged vessel (Tears of the Arizona)
pic #4 Boy Scouts presenting a wreath in front of the wall (pic # 4).
Although Pearl Harbor offered a tour of the USS Bowfin, too, we didn't have time to visit this 1942 submarine. If you have time, this info. might help.
The tour takes about a half hour and costs $10, less for children 4-12. It's located to the right of the visitors center and where you purchase tickets to the USS Missouri.
The USS Bowfin successfully sunk over 40 subs during WW2. A self guided tour takes you throughout the sub, giving visitors a taste of what life would have been like inside this narrow metal tube. A submarine museum close by is said to be worth viewing, as well.
Coming from the UK the words Pearl Harbour have maybe slightly less significance that to people from the USA. That said the image of what happened on that day in 1941 is of World significance.
On a visit to Oahu in transit to the other islands it seemed an interesting place to visit for half a day or so.
I was extremely impressed by the organisation at the USS Arizona Memorial. There was total respect for what is in essence a mass war grave. I am sure the many relatives of those who perished will be proud of the respect and reverence in which the whole visitor experience is handled.
Boats carry visitors from the shore to the actual Memorial which is built over the site of the wreck. Inside is an entire wall listing all the names of the 1177 men who lost their lives. Most touching of all was a small stone where sailors who have since died and have chosen to to be buried with their fallen comrades are commemorated.
I came away a wiser person and somewhat humbled.
All American schoolchildren are taught that December 7th, 1941 was "a date which will live in infamy." On this day, the United States military installations surrounding Pearl Harbor, Hawaii were attacked by Japan in a devastating air raid. When all was done, 2,388 American lives were lost. Japanese forces suffered 65 casualties.
The attack targeted airplanes parked at Hickam field, Bellows field, Wheeler Field and Ford Island. Naval station Pearl Harbor supported a large fleet of ships which the Japanese aimed to demolish, focusing on the larger vessels. After the attack, nine ships had sunk and 21 were damaged. Of the sunken ships, 2 were not able to be risen and still remain on the harbor floor, the USS Utah and the USS Arizona.
A memorial to those lost was dedicated in 1962. The memorial spans the hull of the USS Arizona, without ever touching the ship itself. The names of the men and women who died in the attack at listed inside the memorial. As you look into the water, you can see oil puddles that are floating up from the ship, the "tears of the Arizona." The USS Arizona is considered an active US military cemetery and is a sacred place for visitors. It acts as a testament to all men and women lost in the Pearl Harbor attacks.
A visit to Pearl Harbor begins early in the morning. The museum open at 7:30am and boat tours to the USS Arizona begin at 8am. The visitor's center closes at 5:00pm. Tickets are free and first come, first serve. 4,500 tickets are allocated per day but most days they are gone by noon, so arrive early.
I strongly suggest getting the headset tour. This walks you through the museum and gives a great deal of extra historical information. The ticket includes the museum, a video on Pearl Harbor and the attack and the boat trip to the memorial. The video is actually very good (and I'm really picky about that kind of stuff). After the video, you board a boat to the memorial where you spend about 15 minutes.
I thought 15 minutes would not be much time, but the emotional toll of the memorial makes 15 minutes plenty of time to think about what you are experiencing. It is a very moving experience. If you only have time for one thing in Hawaii, this should be it.
On 3 September 1945, the USS Missouri floated in Tokyo Harbor, the location for the brief 23-minute surrender ceremony marking the end of World War II. Today, the USS Missouri, America's last battleship, sits in Pearl Harbor right next to the Arizona Memorial that marked America's entrance into that conflict. From a U.S. perspective, the Arizona and the Missouri form the bookends of the war.
A tour on the Missouri is worthwhile not only for the ship's historic role in the war's end, but also for a view of a lost era, when naval conflict was big ship versus big ship and when projecting power meant gunboat diplomacy. Unfortunately for the Missouri, when it was christened in 1944, the aircraft carrier had already made it obsolete. Still, it brought it's ability to lob 1900 pound shells 23 miles to Korea, Vietnam and even the first Persian Gulf War before it was retired for good. We spent the extra money to get the guided tour to ensure we got the wholestory.
The USS Arizona Memorial was quite moving. You see a short movie in the theatre about the bombing, and are then taken on a boat to the Arizona Memorial; a large white pontoon over the final resting place of the USS Arizona.
Photo is taken aboad the USS Missouri which is permanantly docked in Pearl Harbour. You can take tours aboard it(2 different ones), or walk around yourself. We went on the delux tour. It took you into areas of the ship which you couldnt go otherwise, but it went for two hours, and was quite boring. A lot of talk about guns, ships and operations in far too much detail. Too much information for your average person!
That's a historical and very interesting trip around the harbor attacked by Japan and main reason for the US entrancy into the war. Here you can feel everything about the 2nd World War enveiroment and how horrible the attack it was for americans and how it changed the whole course of the war.
In my opinion it's something too much nacionalistic, I mean everything mentioning about how surprised the americans were gotten by japanese forces and how brave the american forces were trying to resist as much as they could. You can see the Arizona Memorial, Battleship Missouri and other museums.
2403 people were killed in the attack that took only 2 hours to destroy the whole harbor.