Pearl Harbour, Oahu
The Arizona remains at the bottom of Pearl Harbor. Parts of its gun turrets still rise above the water line and the top of the ship is only a few feet below the water’s surface.
From time to time, small amounts of oil continue to leak from the Arizona’s engines, and the oil slick forms a small rainbow on the water’s surface.
All of these things are visible from the memorial built on the top of the Arizona’s final resting place in the middle of Pearl Harbor.
The U.S. National Park Service, in conjunction with the U.S. Navy, runs shuttle boats from the Visitors’ Center out to the Memorial. Prior to going out into the harbor, you first see a 20 minute film telling the story of Pearl Harbor and the Arizona. The program includes actual film footage of the fatal blow that sank the ship.
Apparently, a Japanese armor piercing shell passed through several decks before it exploded in the Arizona’s ammunition storage area. This explosion ignited a flash fire that spread throughout the ship, instantly killing hundreds of men. This fire was the cause of death of most of the service men who perished.
On December 7, 1941, one of the most important military battles in world history took place when a massive force of Japanese bombers, fighter planes, and torpedo planes attacked the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor. Over 2,300 Americans lost their lives in this devastating battle, which prompted the American entrance into World War II.
More than eleven hundred of these lives were lost when a Japanese shell scored a direct hit on the USS Arizona, a battleship anchored in Pearl Harbor. The ship sank almost immediately, with the casualties entombed aboard. It was soon decided that the Arizona would be left were she fell and that it would be preserved as a memorial to the men who died when she sank.
This is the place it started for the US in WWII. It is humbling to be on the memorial and gaze into the water at the sunken battleship. Oil still leaks from within, and is easily visible on the surface.
The center and USS Arizona Memorial are free of charge to the public and there are no reservations. Surely another reason to go, as most everything tourists do in Hawaii costs plenty. Everyone visiting the USS Arizona is encouraged to view a 20 minute film documenting the attack on Pearl Harbor. The film is presented by the Park Service, prior to the short U.S. Navy shuttle boat trip to the memorial itself. Be prepared to wait however. The memorial is a very popular site in Honolulu and the crowds at all hours of the day can be overwhelming. Visitors are issued free tickets for the film and the shuttle to the Arizona upon arrival at the center on a first come, first served basis, but waits of one hour or more are commonplace. For this reason, go early!
Part of our tour of the USS Missouri brought us to the site of the Japanese surrender during WWII on September 2, 1945. A plaque in the floor commemorates the exact site of the surrender.
We spent a day at Pearl Harbor then went to the Dole Pineapple plantation and quick stop by Waikiki.
What a moving experience! You can still see oil bubbling to the surface. I highly recommend this to everyone.
The USS Missouri is amazing. I have been on the Alabama(great) but the Missouri says US power and tradition.
Going to Pearl Harbour and seeing the remains of the USS Arizona was a quiet time to think during our trip to Hawaii.
This ship has lots of history. You can walk on board and see all the ship. You can take a tour and learn more about it. It was very interesting to see what it was like inside. The guns were huge.
This is the top of the USS Arizona as it still sits at the bottom of Pearl Harbor. Oil STILL leaks out of it causing a rainbow streak across the water.
Behind is the beautiful Pearl City.
The USS Arizona and still over a 1,000 service men who went down with the ship lie directly under the monument. A few of the gun turrets still stick out of the water.
The memorial is located on a stone pier over the top of the USS Arizona wreck. Access is via a ferry from the visitors center. It's free but expect to have to wait for a ferry.
The visitors center is quite nice. Expect to have to wait for a trip out to the USS Arizona. It includes museum, snack bar and a large courtyard.
View from on board the Arizona Memorial. There are all the names of the seamen that were killed during the bombing.