Arizona Memorial Tour
The Arizona Memorial Tour is a must see part of any Hawaii vacation. The USS Arizona Memorial Museum is a moving tribute to the bravery and honor of those who served and died in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The open-air USS Arizona Memorial museum chronicles the pleasant pre-war life at Pearl Harbor as well as the devastation and destruction of December 7,1941. The events that fateful day come alive with personal memorabilia, dramatic photographs, and artifacts of the battle.
There’s a model of the IMS Akagi, the Japanese aircraft carrier that launched the attack force and another one of the USS Arizona as she appeared before the attack. Twisted metal remains of a Japanese torpedo and fragments of warplanes are displayed along with oversized photo-murals of the raging fires that burned for days at Pearl Harbor.
Also on display at the USS Arizona museum is a model of the Arizona Memorial showing the sunken Arizona resting between the shrine’s support columns.
A free ferry takes visitors on a short ride out to the Memorial. Look down as you approach the memorial — you may be able to see the ghostly shadow of the sunken ship below.
How to get your free ticket for the USS Arizona Memorial Tour
The visitor center is the first stop for those planning to tour the memorial. Here you are asked to line up for a numbered ticket, which provides free admission to the memorial tour. While waiting for the tour to begin, you can browse the visitor center and its many attractions. The visitor center contains two theaters, a museum, a bookstore, restrooms and a small snack bar.
The free USS Arizona Memorial Tour is about 75 minutes long and includes an informative 23-minute documentary film, a shuttle boat ride and a visit to the Arizona memorial located across the channel from the museum. Allow three hours to tour the museum and visit the memorial.
If you want a narrated tour, you can rent an audio headset at the front lobby. The one hour audio tour is available in seven languages: English, French, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, German and Spanish.
Visitors to the USS Arizona Memorial can expect up to a 3-hour delay during the summer months, but less during the fall, winter, and spring. It is important to arrive early to be assured of a program ticket— often all available tickets are given out by noon. There are 30 scheduled programs daily, seating 150 people in each program.
Several tour companies offer bus or limousine tours to the Arizona Memorial, combining it with a variety of interesting stops on the way. The tour drivers are knowledgeable and entertaining. Taking the bus tour eliminates driving in traffic through Honolulu as well as dealing with parking. Click to book Pearl Harbor tours.
Open seven days a week, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except Thanksgiving Day, December 25 and January 1
First program (Summer) 7:45 a.m.; 8:00 a.m. (Winter)
Last program 3:00 p.m.
Pearl Harbor and the start of U.S. involvement in World War II
Pearl Harbor has been used as a major Pacific port by the U.S. Navy for more than 100 years. It was a quiet Sunday morning, a day before scheduled week-long maneuvers, when approximately 185 US Pacific Fleet vessels were moored in the shallow waters of Pearl Harbor.
It was December 7, 1941 and in a few hours the course of history would change forever.
Before dawn, the first wave of 183 Japanese planes including bombers and zeros were launched from their position 230 miles off Oahu’s north shore. A second wave of 167 Japanese aircraft are launched about an hour later.
At 7:02, the Opana Radar Station reports a large formation of aircraft heading toward Oahu, but they are assured that this is a formation of B-17’s flying in from the mainland. 53 minutes later the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor begins.
By 10:30 am, 21 vessels had been sunk or damaged and numerous aircraft on Ford Island were destroyed and hangers heavily damaged. The US Pacific fleet was crippled, and the USS Arizona had suffered a direct hit and was sunk in 9 minutes.
1,177 service members were killed on the USS Arizona, the greatest loss of life on a naval warship in American history.
2,390 people are killed or mortally wounded by the end of the air attack and Japan officially declares war on the United States and Great Britain.
Click for information on the USS Missouri, Arizona Memorial, City & Punchbowl Tour..
Interesting books and videos about Pearl Harbor
The Hollywood blockbuster Tora Tora Tora is one of the most dramatic depictions of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Click here to order the film on DVD from Amazon –Tora! Tora! Tora! (Two-Disc Collector’s