Pearl Harbor Historic Sites, Oahu, Hawaii

On Friday I wrote about my visit to the Arizona Memorial in December (Arizona’s Still Bleeding), but there’s so much more to see, experience, explore and learn at the Pearl Harbor Historic Sights.

The Arizona Memorial

The Arizona Memorial

The day dawned bright and sunny, but soon after we arrived at Pearl Harbor, the rain began to fall. Luckily, we had more than enough to keep us occupied indoors, in the fascinating exhibits explaining events leading up to, and during, the Japanese attack.

A recovered piece of the USS Arizona

A recovered piece of the USS Arizona

As I said last time, our visit to the Arizona was accompanied by the rumble of thunder and flashes of lightning, which were appropriately reminiscent of the sights and sounds of a distant battle.

Torrential rain obscures the Arizona Memorial and USS Missouri

Torrential rain obscures the Arizona Memorial and USS Missouri

By the time we returned to shore, it was an absolute deluge. Time to head somewhere dry, we thought. And where better than inside a submarine? (Although we got pretty damp getting there!)

USS Bowfin

USS Bowfin

Clambering through the tight confines of the USS Bowfin, a World War II submarine, was a lot fun. Although I suppose ‘fun’ would be the last word used by any of the submariners who served with her. It must take a special type of person to spend weeks on end aboard such a vessel.

On board the Bowfin (at Christmastime!)

On board the Bowfin (at Christmastime!)

It's pretty cramped down here

It’s pretty cramped down here

Bisckits, step away from the controls

Bisckits, step away from the controls

When the time came to leave the Bowfin, my first thought was that they must have submerged her while we were below decks. A wall of water hit us as we climbed the ladder back into the open. If we got wet as we came aboard, we got drenched as we walked the length of her deck, back to the gangplank.

Soggy 'shakas' aboard the Bowfin

Soggy ‘shakas’ aboard the Bowfin

Thankfully, by the time the shuttle bus to Ford Island dropped us off beside the monstrous USS Missouri, the rain had begun to abate. The seemingly endless rooms, compartments, corridors and decks of the last battleship commissioned by the US Navy were a complete contrast to the cramped interior of the Bowfin. And during the three hours we spent exploring the massive ship, the rain finally petered out.

The Arizona Memorial from the bow of the Missouri

The Arizona Memorial from the bow of the Missouri

Time to bring out the Big Guns!

Time to bring out the Big Guns!

Where the business gets done

Where the business gets done

The Missouri's bridge is less impressive

The Missouri‘s bridge is less impressive

View from the bridge

View from the bridge

Start and finish: the deck where the Japanese surrender was signed, with the Arizona Memorial in the middle distance

Start and finish: the deck where the Japanese surrender was signed, with the Arizona Memorial in the middle distance

Special screening of the latest Hawaii Five-O episode to be filmed on the USS Missouri!

Special screening of the latest Hawaii Five-O episode to be filmed on the USS Missouri!

Three-tier bunks

Three-tier bunks

A little less cramped than the Bowfin

A little less cramped than the Bowfin

The main mess

The main mess

How does 40,820 tons of metal manage to float?

How does 40,820 tons of metal manage to float?

Although the afternoon was getting on, we still had time to squeeze in an hour or so at the Pacific Aviation Museum to round off our day. My brother, Bisckits, loves anything to do with aeroplanes, as anyone who’s read Jaspa’s Journey The Great Migration, or some of my previous blogs, will know. We always try to fit in a visit to an aviation museum whenever we get the chance, like Seattle’s Museum of Flight or McMinnville’s Evergreen Aviation Museum, home of the Spruce Goose.

A Japanese 'Zero' at the Pacific Aviation Museum (Can you spot Bisckits getting in on the act?)

A Japanese ‘Zero’ at the Pacific Aviation Museum (Can you spot Bisckits getting in on the act?)

But the Pacific Aviation Museum has an extra draw. It’s housed in a pair of hangers at the former Naval Air Station on Ford Island, one of the airfields hit during the attack on Pearl Harbor. And some of the damage suffered back in 1941 is visible today.

Hanger 79

Hanger 79

72-year-old bullet holes in the windows of Hanger 79

72-year-old bullet holes in the windows of Hanger 79

Inside Hanger 79

Inside Hanger 79

Ford Island airfield control tower

Ford Island airfield control tower

In contrast to the terrible weather earlier in the day, we were treated to a beautiful evening as we left Ford Island, with the Arizona Memorial bathed in sunlight.

Peace descends on Pearl Harbor

Peace descends on Pearl Harbor

The same was true the following evening, when we briefly returned to complete a great Wherigo geocache (GC4KEKY, USS Arizona WIGO), which takes you around the exhibits of the main Pearl Harbor site.

Bowfin and blue skies... a little different to yesterday

Bowfin and blue skies… a little different to yesterday

Monuments and gardens at Pearl Harbor

Monuments and gardens at Pearl Harbor

A final look back towards the Arizona Memorial and the Missouri

A final look back towards the Arizona Memorial and the Missouri

While you remember the infamous events of December 7th, 1941, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal, or through my websiteFacebook, Twitter and Instagram?

And if that’s not enough for you, there are now three Jaspa’s Journey novels to enjoy as ebooks! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

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About Jaspa

Star of my own award-winning adventure novels, Jaspa's Journey. Geocaching addict & F1 fan. Adventure Journeyer & blogger extraordinaire. Check out my website: www.jaspasjourney.com And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
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4 Responses to Pearl Harbor Historic Sites, Oahu, Hawaii

  1. Pingback: Arizona’s Still Bleeding: Pearl Harbor | Jaspa's Journal

  2. sueslaght says:

    Wow it really was raining! Thanks for the tour of this most interesting ship.

  3. Great shots. I doubt I could survive a day in a submarine. Amazing. My wife was in Hawaii just about the same time as you and complained also about the weather!

  4. Pingback: Kalaupapa Mule Trail, Molokai, Hawaii | Jaspa's Journal

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