Pearl Harbor Tours
Diving Deep In History
Experience the #1 visitor destination in Hawaii – Pearl Harbor. With over 1.8 million visitors a year, it’s a must-see attraction. At the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, you’ll gain access to incredible sites like the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Battleship Missouri, the Bowfin Submarine, and the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum.
Pearl Harbor Tours offer a unique opportunity to learn about the historic Japanese attack that brought America into World War II. You’ll watch a powerful 23-minute documentary about the events at Pearl Harbor. The expansive visitor center will give you a good view into the events of the day. Then, board a 145-passenger U.S. Navy-operated boat for a solemn visit to the Arizona Memorial.
Step back in time to the fateful day in 1941 when the United States entered World War II. Pay homage to the 1,177 brave crewmen who tragically lost their lives aboard the USS Arizona, which now serves as their final resting place.
This unforgettable experience will leave a lasting impact on your life. Explore the very site where the world’s history was forever changed – Pearl Harbor. As you step foot on this hallowed ground, a profound sense of respect and awe will wash over you. Don’t rely on chance encounters or your own limited knowledge to fully grasp the significance of each notable location. Instead, trust in our team of seasoned, knowledgeable guides who will ensure you have the ultimate experience at Pearl Harbor.
That’s how long the attack lasted. The devastating attack on Pearl Harbor took place on Sunday morning at 7:55 a.m. HST. Many people don’t realize that on the morning of December 7th, 1941, the Wickes-class destroyer USS Ward attacked and sank a Ko-hyoteki-class midget submarine near the entrance to the harbor, making it not only the first shot fired on that day but the first official American shots in the War.
With that, the Japanese response was launched. Japanese forces launched their aircraft from a large fleet located north of Hawaii. A terrifying variety of aircraft filled the sky: dive bombers, fighters, torpedo bombers, and high-level bombers. With deadly precision, they unleashed their payloads across the entire island of Oahu, leaving destruction in their wake. The infamous Battleship Row bore the brunt of the assault, suffering heavy damage.
Imagine the scale of their operation: 67 ships, including six heavy aircraft carriers, two heavy cruisers, 35 submarines, two light cruisers, nine oilers, two battleships, and 11 destroyers. The fleet carried a vast arsenal of 353 aircraft, consisting of 40 torpedo planes, 103 level bombers, 131 dive-bombers, and 79 fighters.
There was utter chaos as defenders from all directions desperately tried to figure out which way to fight back. Wave after wave, Japanese planes swept in, targeting vital areas such as airstrips, ships, buildings, and storage facilities.
Amidst the chaos, the Arizona and Oklahoma bore the brunt of the devastating bombs and torpedoes, rendering them beyond repair. Tragically, of the 2,026 American sailors and marines who lost their lives that day, 1,606 were aboard these two ill-fated ships.
In the aftermath of the attack, three battleships – the California, West Virginia, and Nevada – found themselves submerged upright in the shallow waters of the harbor. However, through heroic salvage efforts, they were retrieved. While many ships took years to return to the battleground, most sustained repairable damage. Today, the mighty Battleship Missouri proudly stands anchored in these legendary waters.
Even though the attack on Pearl Harbor was devastating, the US Navy suffered the total loss of only two ships – the USS Arizona and the USS Oklahoma. The remaining damaged ships were successfully refloated and repaired, some in a remarkably short span of six months. This incredible feat was made possible because the Japanese failed to target the nearby repair facilities and dry docks, as well as the aircraft carriers that were stationed elsewhere during the raid. To their detriment, the Japanese underestimated the pivotal role that aircraft at sea would play in naval combat, ultimately leading to their own naval downfall.
The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, marked the culmination of long-standing tensions between Japan and the United States. Japan relied on the United States for key resources, particularly oil, which was essential to its naval forces. However, to secure access to valuable minerals and oil in Southeast Asia, Japan targeted that region despite knowing it would provoke war with America. Their strategy was to eliminate the American Pacific Fleet to prevent interference in their plan to access the resources in what they referred to as the “Southern Resource Area.”
The USS Missouri was the last battleship commissioned by the US Navy. With a rich history dating back to 1944, this formidable ship played a crucial role in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. It even had the role of shelling the Japanese home island.
But the true significance of the USS Missouri was realized on that historic day in 1945. It was on the deck of this very battleship that General Douglas MacArthur and Admiral Chester Nimitz accepted the surrender of the Empire of Japan, marking the end of World War II. General MacArthur solemnly declared, “Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world.”
Step aboard the “Mighty Mo” or “Big Mo” and immerse yourself in a piece of history that shaped the course of nations. Feel the weight of its legacy as you walk the decks where history was made. The USS Missouri is a testament to bravery, strength, and the pursuit of peace.
The sheer number of things to do on Oahu is enough to make even the most organized traveler’s head spin. With that in mind, we’ve narrowed down Oahu’s musts so that you can experience the extent of “The Gathering Place’s” wonder: