On December 7, 1941, the USS Arizona, while moored here in Pearl Harbor, was bombed in a Japanese air raid. The 608-foot battleship sank in 9 minutes without firing a shot, taking 1,177 sailors and Marines to their deaths--and catapulting the United States into World War II.
Nobody who visits the memorial will ever forget it. The deck of the ship lies 6 feet below the surface of the sea. Oil still oozes slowly up from the Arizona's engine room to stain the harbor's calm, blue water; some say the ship still weeps for its lost crew. The memorial is a stark white 184-foot rectangle that spans the sunken hull of the ship; it was designed by Alfred Pries, a German architect interned on Sand Island during the war. It contains the ship's bell, recovered from the wreckage, and a shrine room with the names of the dead carved in stone.
Today, free U.S. Navy launches take visitors to the Arizona. Try to arrive early at the visitor center (no later than 1:30pm), operated jointly by the National Park Service and the U.S. Navy, to avoid the huge crowds; waits of 1 to 3 hours are common, and they don't take reservations. While you're waiting for the shuttle to take you out to the ship--you'll be issued a number and time of departure, which you must pick up yourself--you can explore the interesting museum's personal mementos, photographs, and historic documents. A moving 20-minute film precedes your trip to the ship. Allow a total of at least 4 hours for your visit.
Parents, note that baby strollers, baby carriages, and baby backpacks are not allowed in the theater, on the boat, or on the USS Arizona Memorial. All babies must be carried.
One last note: Most unfortunately, the USS Arizona Memorial is a high-theft area--leave your valuables at the hotel.
The Pearl Harbor Memorial was opened on Memorial day 1962, as a reminder of what took place on Dec 7th 1941, when the Japanese military launched a suprise attach on Americas pacific fleet.
Within 2 hours, 2,403 lifes were lost, 21 ships sunk or damaged, including all 8 of our battle ships, and 1,177 killed on the Arizona alone. This was a huge success for the Japanese, only losing 10% of their attacking force.
Today Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial is one of Americas most visited National Parks, with an average of 4,500 visitors a day, and 1.5 million visitors a year.
Entry is FREE
Open 7 days a week
730am - 500pm
Upon entrance, you will be given a ticket with your tour time. The wait can be up to a few hours which leaves you with a couple options. Many people spend their time waiting by walking the grounds, or exploring the museum. You are also free to leave and re-enter, so if you have a car, you can always go and come back before your tour. I recommend being back atleast 30 minutes before your tour time.
Parking is free, but the lots get pretty crowded come noon time. For shorter waiting times, the earlier the better.
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.
On December 7, 1941, Japanese planes attacked the American battleships anchored in the harbor at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The result was catastrophic: Twenty-one ships of the U.S. Pacific Fleet were sunk or damaged. 2,403 Americans were killed. The battleship USS Arizona was destroyed and sunk that morning. Almost all the men on board were killed. The USS Arizona Memorial is a tribute to their memory and a must-see when you visit Oahu.
When you enter the memorial building, you are given a numbered ticket. The ticket guarantees your entrance to the film and then the boat ride to the USS Arizona. You will want to arrive early in the day to make sure you get a ticket. They often run out quickly, especially in the summer.
While you wait for the film, walk through the museum that details the history of the attack on Pearl Harbor. There is also a large gift shop. Eventually, you'll go into the theatre where the film is shown. Then, you are put onto a boat and taken to the memorial in the harbor. The memorial is located over the remains of the sunken ship. As you look over the edge, you can see the rusting remains of the USS Arizona. Oil is still bubbling up from the sunken ship, more than 60 years after it went down. There is a large memorial wall listing the names of all those who died on the USS Arizona. It's a very powerful and emotional place.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You cannot take bags into the memorial. They will not even allow you to bring a small purse or camera bag. You can take nothing but what will fit in your pockets. There are a few small lockers available on a truck outside the memorial, but it's really best not to bring anything with you at all.
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.
When the USS Arizona sunk, it was carrying over 500,000 gallons of oil. Since the ship sank, corrosion has eatin away at the ships fuel bunkers, causing a small amount of oil to leak each day. Bubbling droplets of oil measuring 2cm wide account for an estimated 1 quart of oil a day.
You can witness the leak yourself at the memorial by walking to the center of the memorial and facing the stern of the ship towards the mountains. Directly infront of you, you will see Barbette No. 3 sticking out of the water. Between the Barbette and the memorial is where you will find the leak. Sometimes you will have to wait a few minutes until the oil slick appears.
There has been heavy debate on if the leak should be stopped. Many argue that it will cause harmful damage to the enviroment if the leak gets any bigger. While others say it is a link to the past, and the wreck should not be touched.
Pearl Harbor is a memorial that is built on top of a sunken ship USS Arizona where thousands of US servicemen lost their lives during an unexpected attack. Access to this memorial is free as the US Navy shuttle boats take you to the memorial from the visitor center. Before you board the shuttle, you should take the time to view a short documentary on Pearl Harbor at the theatre in the visitor center. The film usually runs for around 15-20 minutes and gives you a perspective of what went on during that fateful day. You would find many a wet eye at the end of this short film as it is indeed heart wrenching.
Barbette No. 3 is the most visible piece of the USS Arizona wreckage. A barbette is a protective cylinder that surrounds a revolving gun turret on a warship.
Barbette No. 3 can be seen on the North facing side of the memorial, towards the mountains. Between the Barbette and the memorial, is also where you can spot one of the oil leaks still coming from the ship. For more on the oil leak, check out my Oil Leak tip.
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.
If you have any interest in history whatsoever, you must make a trek over to Pearl Harbour. To experience this place makes you realize the magnitude of its historical significance. Here I am with the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in the background.
The USS Arizona was moored off of Ford Island on Battle Ship Row, along with six other battle ships, California, Maryland, Oklahoma, Tennesse, Weste Virginia, and the Nevada.
Normally the ships wouldnt be moored so close together, but it was decided that they would group them up, to make them easier to protect from sabotage, since this was considered their greatest threat.
Because of their formation, they were sitting ducks for the Japanese when they attacked shortly before 8am. Within minutes the first wave of torpedo planes were able to get succesful hits on the California, West Virginia, Nevada, and Oklahoma.
Minutes after, the horizontal bombers with armer piercing bombs came in scoring hits on California, Tennesse, West Virginia, Maryland, and the Arizona. The Arizona suffered its finishing blow at 810am, when one of the armer piercing bombs made its way through it decks, and exploded in the forward magazines room. The Arizona sank within minutes.
Out of the seven ships on battle ship row, 5 of them would be repaired and see battle again, but the Oklahoma, and Arizona had found their final resting place.
Pearl Harbour is an area in Hawaii which must be seen for so many reasons. Its a place where people can feel at peace and learn so much about Hawaiian, American and Japanese history as well as about human nature and themselves
Its best to get there very early in the morning because this is a very popular place that people visit to pay their respects, and by 11am it is almost impossible to get in.
I was amazed and awed to see a World War veteran.
It brings a tear to your eye to be here but afterwards you feel like a part of you is complete, experiencing something so amazing in history.
On a quiet Sunday morning December 7, 1941 a Japanese surprise air attack left the Pacific Fleet in smoldering broken heap of twisted steel. On the battleship Arizona, approximately 1200 sailors and Marines lost there lives.
Today, visitors come from around the world to see the USS Arizona Memorial, which spans the mid-portion of the sunken battleship. When you visit the memorial, you can still see oil droplets bubble to the surface of Pearl Harbor creating a link to the past. The national memorial is designed to encourage quiet contemplation, and to appeal to our memory and sense of sacrifice.
There is no fee to visit the memorial, but please be aware that it gets crowded early, so I would recommend getting your tickets before 8:30 a.m. Also, due to security reasons, no bags are allowed (there is a place where you can store your bags and the charge is $3.00).
The USS Arizona Memorial is built over the remains of the sunken battleship USS Arizona and the final resting place for many of the 1,177 crewmen that were killed on December 7, 1941 when the ship was bombed by the Japanese Naval Forces. This has been the worst naval disaster in American History.
There is a shoreside visitor centre where the tour begins with a video, then you board a navy launch to the memorial.
You need to allow at least a couple of hours. The first time I went out there, I took the bus. The second time I went by boat and the seas were really rough. I don't think there was a single settled tummy on the way back.
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.