Pearl Harbor Visitor Center’s Two Museums

Take the time to visit the two Pearl Harbor Museums.

You have to credit the National Park Service historians for their vision and in-depth knowledge that led them to create the two world-class museums at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. In the first Museum, visitors learn about the people and events that led up to the second World War. In contrast, the second Museum covers what happened in detail on Dec 7, 1941, regarding the sneak attack of the Japanese Navy on Oahu that launched the United States into WWII and the War in the Pacific.

Road To War Museum

here, you will learn about the events that led to World War II. Listed below are some of the most significant and exciting displays in this Museum:

  • Faces of Oahu- Learn about the people in Hawaii whose lives were soon changed forever.
  • Code Breaking during WWII- Learn how the US Military intelligence broke the Japanese top-secret military code.
  • Battleship Arizona – Learn in detail about the history and features of one of America’s most powerful battleships.
  • HIJMS Akagi– Inspect the half-million-dollar model of the Japanese flagship aircraft carrier of the Kido Butai Mobile Fleet and learn about her capabilities and military history before WWII.
  • View a Drawing of a Japanese Torpedo Used in the Attack-On the floor in the center of the “Road to War Museum” is a drawing of the actual size of the Japanese torpedoes used to attack Battleship Row.
  • War begins in Asia- This is the largest and best section of the Museum; learn about the events that led up to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.
  • President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s letter to the Emperor of Japan- On the entire last wall of this Museum is a letter written by the President of the US to Japan’s Emperor, sent one day before the attack on Pearl Harbor, asking that both countries negotiate a new treaty to avoid any armed conflict in the future.

The Attack Museum

Learn in detail about Dec 7, 1941, the day that launched the United States into WWII and changed the Pacific forever. Listed below are some of the most critical and exciting displays in this Museum:

  • The Deadly Torpedo Bombers- Learn how the US thought Pearl Harbor was too shallow for a torpedo attack and how the Japanese modified their torpedoes for their attack on Battleship Row.
  • Radar Story of the Attack on Oahu- A shocking tale of how two US servicemen saw the Japanese planes on their new radar equipment and how a Pearl Harbor officer told them not to worry; it was friendly US planes coming in from the Continental US.
  • The Attack Theater- This 12-minute $750,000 documentary is a must-do; this movie explains the strategy of the two waves of Japanese attacks called “Battlefield Oahu.” (Warning, it’s not usually to see grown men cry during this documentary).
  • Salvaging the US Fleet- This section explains how all but two battleships were salvaged from the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • The Sad Story of the USS Oklahoma Battleship– Learn the tragic disaster of the Battleship Oklahoma when the ship rolled over after the first torpedo hit, killing 429 officers, sailors, and marines.
  • View President Roosevelt’s Speech and Final Handwritten Notes- One of the best stops in the “Attack Museum” is President Roosevelt’s “Day of Infamy” speech declaring War on Japan on Dec 8, 1941.
  • Aftermath- Learn in detail what happened at Pearl Harbor the days after the attack.
  • The Remarkable Sadako Sasaki Display- View one of the remaining paper cranes donated to the Pearl Harbor National Park Service by her Hiroshima family. Learn how the National Park Service adopted the crane and made it one of their peace symbols of Pearl Harbor.
  • Model of the USS Arizona Memorial- Here, you will learn in detail the creation and design of the Memorial and why it is the most visited destination on Oahu.