Visit the site of the Pearl Harbor attacks and see bullet holes from the raids, Japanese planes that were shot down and a host of American aviation history.
Try your hand at piloting a war plane in the Pacific Aviation Museum’s flight simulation area and examine more than 30 different aircraft used during World War II, the Korean War and more. Learn the personal stories of some of the soldiers, both Japanese and American, who were involved in the attacks and see the control tower and other buildings that were targeted by Japanese soldiers.
Located on Ford Island, which was the focus of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Pacific Aviation Museum is spread over 16 acres (6.5 hectares). The exhibitions are split between two separate hangars.
Begin your exploration of the museum in Hangar 37. Watch a short film depicting the events of December 7, 1941, the date of the Pearl Harbor attacks, before making your way into the main exhibition space. Here you’ll see a real Japanese Zero plane displayed on the deck of an aircraft carrier. Learn what happened to the Japanese pilot who crashed and survived on the island.
Planes from the American World War II fleet on display include an SBD Dauntless dive-bomber and an F4F Wildcat. Make your way to Hangar 79 to see more restored planes including a B-17 Bomber recovered from a swamp in New Guinea and some vehicles from the Vietnam War. Note that some aircraft are periodically taken to Hangar 79 for restoration.
Don’t miss the chance to experience the thrill of piloting your own plane in the museum’s flight simulator. If the excitement makes you hungry then head to the museum restaurant, which serves a range of light meals and snacks.
The Pacific Aviation Museum is open every day of the year with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s days. There’s a charge for entry with an extra charge if you take one of the docent-led tours or fly in the flight simulator. The only way to the island is via shuttle bus, so catch a public bus, or park in one of the free parking lots, near the shuttle’s pick-up point at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center on mainland Oahu.