Tag Archives: pearl harbor

USS Arizona Memorial Commemorates Battle Of Midway

On Monday, June 4, the USS Arizona Memorial held special ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. A special wreath-laying ceremony and a parading of the colors was joined by singing of the national anthem, and a flyover by vintage T-6 Texan planes.

Navy and Marine servicemen from the wreath-laying ceremony.

Navy and Marine service members in attendance for the wreath-laying ceremony. Photo: US Navy.

Both service members and civilians were present for the ceremony which honored those who fought in the Battle of Midway. Guest speaker Rear Adm. James Caldwell said “Today, we reflect on and celebrate the accomplishments of one of America’s greatest generations; those brave men and women that served our country in a time of war.”

Occurring only 6 months after the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Midway signified the first major victory against Japan. While other battles had happened in different parts of the Pacific, none of them affected the Japanese offensive abilities like Midway.

An aerial view of Midway, located about 1,300 miles northwest of Pearl Harbor. Photo: Google Maps.

An aerial view of Midway, located about 1,300 miles northwest of Pearl Harbor. Photo: Google Maps.

Widely regarded as being the most important naval battle in the World War II Pacific Theater, the Battle of Midway also marked a major and decisive victory against the Imperial Japanese Navy, and a turning point in the Pacific.

The battle cost Japan heavy losses, including four aircraft carriers and a majority of their experienced pilots.  The victory was due in large part to Navy cryptology experts breaking Japan’s JN-25 code, and discovering the plan to ambush the American aircraft carriers at Midway Island.

With this information known, American ships were ready and waiting. The losses inflicted upon Japan severely reduced the Imperial Navy’s ability to launch naval offensives, which was their primary objective in their attack on Pearl Harbor.

With events like this and the Memorial Day celebrations, Pearl Harbor continues to be the symbol for remembering World War II. Join us on tour today and experience this incredible and historic place!


Arizona Memorial 50th Anniversary Celebration

The USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor will be celebrating its 50th anniversary during Memorial Day weekend.  Beginning Friday, May 25 and concluding on Monday, May 28, special events will be held at the Pearl Harbor Visitors Center and on the Arizona Memorial.

To kick off the festivities there will be a fundraiser golf event at the Klipper Golf Course at Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay that Friday. The format will be a foursome shotgun scramble, and each group will include a combat veteran.  Starting the day is reception and registration at 11:30 am, tee off is at 12:30, cocktails at the club house at 4:30, which will be followed by entertainment and a banquet at the Officer’s Club at 5:30.

USS Arizona Memorial Shrine Room

USS Arizona Memorial Shrine Room

Special guests and speakers to include Admiral Locklear, Admiral Macke, General Lee, Mayor Peter Carslile and former Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle. If you are interested in participating in this event, check out the event info page.

Beginning Saturday, May 26 a vigil guard will be held in the shrine room of the Arizona Memorial by the Marine Corps Honor Guard for the anniversary.

Public programs to the Arizona Memorial will be cancelled beginning at 12:00 noon on Sunday, May 27 in order to host the anniversary ceremony. The Pearl Harbor Visitors Center and it’s museums with audio tour will be open during it’s regular hours of 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. Sadly for this special event tours of Arizona Memorial will be unavailable.

The USS Arizona Memorial to celebrate 50 years of rememberance

The USS Arizona Memorial to celebrate 50 years of remembering fallen heroes.

While tours on Sunday afternoon are unavailable, Monday, May 28 would be a great day to visit the USS Arizona memorial. Every ticket holder will receive a commemorative card, a tribute flower, and have the opportunity to participate in a floral tribute while visiting the memorial.

For more details and a complete list of events check out their event homepage.


Pearl Harbor Tour Receives New Restoration Project

If you’re interested in taking a Pearl Harbor tour, the Pacific Aviation Museum has a new reason to visit!

The Pacific Aviation Museum and the Hawaii Military Vehicle Restoration Association have teamed up to bring life back into an old war bird. The Douglas C-47 known as “Cheeky Charlie” earned her nickname while flying missions in the Philippines during WWII for the United States Army Air Force (USAAF). She then flew for the Australian Government, and more recently was flying cargo inter-island for Kamaka Air.

"Cheeky Charlie" courtesy of Pacific Aviation Museum

"Cheeky Charlie" courtesy of Pacific Aviation Museum

A Pearl Harbor Tour Is History In Action

She was received earlier this week by Lt. Shealy’s Restoration Shop located within the Museum’s Hanger 79 on Ford Island.

Restoration projects like this are what makes Pearl Harbor’s Pacific Aviation Museum such an amazing place to visit! Not only are there displays of planes and helicopters representing the last 70 years of military aviation, you can visit an active restoration shop and see the care and effort it takes to return these birds to glory.

"Cheeky Charlie" in front of Hangar 79 courtesy of Pacific Aviation Museum

"Cheeky Charlie" in front of Hangar 79 courtesy of Pacific Aviation Museum

If you’re visiting Hawaii and staying on a neighbor island, we offer a variety of island hopping packages from Maui, Kauai, & the Big Island which include a Pearl Harbor Tour.


Pearl Harbor Tour in Photos: USS O’Kane

Guided-missile destroyer USS O’Kane departed Pearl Harbor today for a deployment in the Western Pacific.

Let’s take a photo tour of the Pearl Harbor event.

USS O'Kane at Pearl Harbor

USS O'Kane at Pearl Harbor (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Donald W. Randall)

Departing Pearl Harbor

Friends and family were at Pearl Harbor, the destroyer’s home port, to wave goodbye to sailors. In February 2011, USS O’Kane arrived in Pearl Harbor from a seven month deployment in the Pacific.

“We spent five of our seven months in the (Arabian Gulf), and while there, we helped protect Iraqi oil infrastructure, provided maritime security for coalition efforts and partnered with our allies to further enhance maritime security,” Cmdr. Derek Trinique, USS O’Kane commanding officer at the time, said in 2011 of their previous deployment. 

Friends and family wave goodbye.

Friends and family wave goodbye. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Donald W. Randall.)


USS O’Kane Statistics (source)

  • Keel Laid: May 8, 1997
  • Launched: March 28, 1998
  • Commissioned: October 23, 1999
  • Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
  • Propulsion system: four General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines
  • Propellers: two
  • Blades on each Propeller: five
  • Length: 505,25 feet (154 meters)
  • Beam: 67 feet (20.4 meters)
  • Draft: 30,5 feet (9.3 meters)
  • Displacement: approx. 8.300 tons full load
  • Speed: 30+ knots
  • Aircraft: None. But LAMPS 3 electronics installed on landing deck for coordinated DDG/helicopter ASW operations.
  • Armament: two MK 41 VLS for Standard missiles, Tomahawk; Harpoon missile launchers, one Mk 45 5-inch/54 caliber lightweight gun, two Phalanx CIWS, Mk 46 torpedoes (from two triple tube mounts)
  • Homeport: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
  • Crew: 23 Officers, 24 Chief Petty Officers and 291 Enlisted

Are you ready to experience Pearl Harbor in person?

Join us for a Pearl Harbor Tour today!

Memorial Day Observance at Pearl Harbor Visitor Center

Honolulu, HI—In observance of Memorial Day, the National Park Service will be hosting special events at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center on Monday, May 30, 2011. The Pearl Harbor Survivors will conduct a Flag Raising and Bell Ringing Ceremony (ringing one of the bells removed from the USS Arizona) at 7:30 a.m. After the ceremony, the Survivors will be available to sign autographs and take photos with the public.

Pearl Harbor Survivor

A Pacific War in Miniature Model Exhibit will be displayed at the Visitor Center’s Research and Education Center from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hosted by the Hawaii Chapter of the International Plastic Modeler’s Society, this intricate model features over 125 scaled models of WWII ships and aircraft. Additionally, 2,390 United States flags will be displayed on the Visitor Center’s back lawn representing every military and civilian casualty of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

A Veteran Remembers ‘Chaotic’ Pearl Harbor

Now in their 80s and 90s, the remaining survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor–a devastating blow to the U.S. military that launched America into the war–are the last living historians who offer first-hand accounts of that fateful day, December 7, 1941.American Flag, Pearl Harbor Hawaii

TheCitizen.com, a media outlet near Atlanta recently published a special interview with Pearl Harbor survivor Bob Schmutzler, 88, of Griffin, Georgia.

“The best way I can describe December 7 is chaotic…”

Pearl Harbor was a part of history Schmutzler lived through, and he shares both fond memories and, of course, striking words of a time that might seem long ago but will forever be honored by war memorials, stories and songs around the world.

The interview took place in anticipation of WWII Heritage Days, a community celebration in Peachtree City, Georgia that “combine history and entertainment for the entire family.”

Thousands upon thousands of men and women fought in the Second World War. Everyone of them provided a truly honorable service to our country.

Rare Declaration of Independence Copy on Display at Pearl Harbor

A rare, authentic copy of the Declaration of Independence will be on display April 19 – 20, 7 am – 7 pm at the Pearl Harbor Visitor’s Center. The exhibit is open to all visitors. Admission is free.

Original Copy of Declaration of Independence

An original copy of the Declaration of Independence will be on display at the Pearl Harbor Visitor's Center

Hawaii is the 44th state to feature the cross-country Declaration of Independence Road Trip, a multimedia exhibit designed to inspire Americans of all ages throughout the country. A short film features powerful performances by distinguished Hollywood actors, including Mel Gibson, Morgan Freeman and Rene Zellweger.

In 1941, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, US government officials ordered the original Declaration of Independence to be moved to a vault in Fort Knox. Along with the original US Constitution, the historic artifact remained secured throughout World War II.

On July 4, 1776, Philadelphia printer John Dunlap printed a few hundred copies of the Declaration. Two centuries later, only 24 copies were left in existence. That is, until a man discovered the 25th copy inside a painting at a flea market in 1989.

Facts about the Pearl Harbor Visitor’s Center:

  • the new center reopened on the 69th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks
  • Tickets to the Arizona Memorial are available on a first-come, first-serve basis
  • The Declaration exhibit runs April 19-20, 7am – 7pm

Pearl Harbor Oahu offers a variety of tour options to Pearl Harbor.

Naval Devastation at Pearl Harbor

Attacks of December 7, 1941 on Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor Attacks, December 7, 1941. An unknown battleship slowly descends into Pearl Harbor

Japanese forces, having achieved complete surprise over the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, managed to sink or damage twenty-one ships on December 7th, 1941.

Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, Commander of the Japanese Naval Fleet, sent two waves of torpedo bombers, dive bombers and fighters to Pearl Harbor and other military bases, dealing the U.S. a mighty blow in just two hours. All eight American battleships, which included the USS Arizona, USS California, USS Maryland, USS Nevada, USS Oklahoma, USS Pennsylvania, USS Tennessee, and the USS West Virginia were heavily damaged. The USS Arizona, USS California, USS Oklahoma and USS West Virginia sunk. In spite of its wounds, the USS Nevada tried to escape the harbor, but upon the second wave of air attacks beached itself on Hospital Point to not block the harbor entrance.

Despite the monumental naval carnage sustained in the attack, eighteen of the ships were salvaged. A group of divers, engineers, line officers and repair workers managed to raise and repair all but three of the ships that were sunk at Pearl Harbor. This colossal effort required 20,000 hours underwater working on the vessels. Through the innovative salvage techniques of these dedicated men, eighteen vessels rejoined the U.S. fleet and helped fight countless battle throughout the ensuing Pacific theater.

The USS Arizona and the USS Utah are the only ships that were never raised. Both serve as tombs for the soldiers still residing within their hulls.

Restoration of Ford Island Radio Tower Will Start This Week

Ford Island Control Tower


The Pacific Aviation Museum has announced the restoration of the Ford Island Radio Tower in Pearl Harbor will officially begin this week. Stabilization begins Friday, February 25th for the long awaited renovations. “The Tower stood guard over Ford Island on the day of the Imperial Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, so its historical significance is immense,” said Pacific Aviation Museum director Kenneth DeHoff. The project will restore the steel stairs, landings, ladders, beams, and other areas experiencing severe corrosion. Painted red and white, the tower skylines the horizon as a landmark of  Pearl Harbor. The department of defense has granted 3.8 million for the project to take place to preserve this historical monument.




Ford Island Radio Tower

The Radio Control Tower is located on Ford Island, a military island base situated in the middle of Pearl Harbor. Once only accessed by ferry, today there is the Ford Island Bridge that connects to the island. The historic facility played a vital role during the attack on Pearl Harbor where a radio broadcast was put out warning everyone of the Japanese attacks. During the attack, 33 of the 70 aircraft on the ground at Ford Island were destroyed and the red and white striped tower stood strong. Today it is a part of the Pacific Aviation Museum that is housed next to the tower in a WWII hangar. Inside the museum you can witness the history of aviation and some of the original air crafts used in WWII. The museum and tower is one of the highlights on our Day at Pearl Harbor Tours. You’ll also see on tour the Arizona Memorial, Battleship Missouri, and the Bow fin Submarine to get a full day experience at Pearl Harbor.

Insider Tip: Ford Island is not open to the public to drive onto. Discover Hawaii Tours has access to shuttle you onto the historic island and take you on a guided tour to the museum and radio control tower.

The Man Who Told the World of the Pearl Harbor Attack

Ed Chlapowski

Ed Chlapowski, a Pearl Harbor survivor, died in his home last week on January 16th at the age of 88. Whats unique about Mr. Chlapowski is he was one of the soldiers to first notify the world of the attack. Through morse code, he radioed the Pacific Fleet of the Japanese bombers. Along with every soldier of the war and during the attack, Mr. Chlapowski is a WWII hero.

Ed Chlapowski may have not been able to live to tell or notify the world of the attack if he wasn’t transferred from the USS Arizona. He had been a sailor aboard the historic boat, then stationed over to Admiral Husband Kimmel at the submarine base as a radioman. Then on the morning of December 7th, 1941, he was sitting eating breakfast when he looked out the window and saw the roof of a hangar blown away from a Japanese airplane attack. Knowing the radio crew was short of people on Sundays, he ran into the radio room and put in morse code “Pearl Harbor is under attack, this is not a drill.” He survived the attacks and went on to live a wonderful life, had a happy marriage of 68 years and is survived by his 7 children and 10 grandchildren. The funeral celebrated his heroic part in WWII and all the great accomplishments made throughout his life. One thing Mr. Chlapowski would’ve wanted is for everyone to never forget Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor Attack

To see the site of the attacks at Pearl Harbor, the musuems and memorials dedicated to those who fought, and board the USS Arizona Memorial, join Peal Harbor Oahu on one of our terriffic Pearl Harbor Tours.