Pearl Harbor Tours

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by USMCGrunt, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    A good friend of mine will be visiting Oahu in November. He did not serve in the military but is a huge history buff and supporter of the military. He is an active member in dozens of military and history organizations. I thought I would ask SAF members a couple of questions on his behalf.

    First, are there any "private," exclusive, back door type tours of Pearl Harbor available to those in the know? I have found that sometimes there are neat things available that are not public knowledge.

    Secondly, any must do's in Oahu given his interest in the military and WWII?

    Thanks, in advance.
     
  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Park Service USS ARIZONA Memorial tour.
    Ex-USS BOWFIN
    Punchbowl Cemetery.
    Hike up Diamond Head as soon as the park opens, to beat crowds and heat, to gun emplacements at top. Amazing view.

    When on active duty during my two tours in Pearl Harbor, I often escorted VIPs on a private Navy boat tour to ARIZONA Memorial. Older Japanese tourists at the Memorial would notice me in uniform and make a point to come over and bow politely. Even with the language barrier, we both ended up with tears in our eyes and emotional handshakes. That memorial gets me every time.
     
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  3. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Thank you Capt MJ. Much appreciated.
     
  4. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Hawaiiforvisitors.com has a list of military museums. Army certainly has some, and I know I visited them, but it's been a few years. The ones I mentioned were the ones I never minded re-visiting with our endless stream of visitors!
     
  5. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Final 5 cents: Battleship MISSOURI. I haven't visited her in memorial status in Pearl, but have fond memories of being underway in her when she was home ported in Long Beach, CA, and of her final decommissioning. Impressive ships. Still.
    WWII Japan surrender occurred aboard her in Tokyo Bay.
     
  6. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    The Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island is worth a stop as well.
     
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  7. JMC0759

    JMC0759 S-USMMA '12 D-USAFA '15

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    Was there in May while my wife was doing her ADT. DON"T buy tickets from a tour company to visit the Missouri. There was a big investigation going on while we were there about the Park Service giving tickets to the tour companies. The Park Service gives out free tickets every morning. We got there about 30 minutes before the gates opened. Got inline and had tickets to the first tour of the day.
    If he has a military ID have him go to Bellows Air Force Station. Beautiful beach only for service members.
     
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  8. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Not sure I took the time to comment: thanks to all who sent ideas. I have passed them on to my buddy.
     
  9. Midwest

    Midwest Member

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    I grew up in the islands and could see the Arizona Memorial from my bedroom window. Hmmm.... I looked at history everyday.

    Your friend might want to contact Burl Burlingame. Burl is the Pacific Aviation Museum historian and a family friend. Tell your friend to inquire with Burl about any activities beyond the usual tourist stuff that he can attend. There is always an interesting lecture happening on the islands. Also, Burl has is a big modeling fan. And of course, the best way to get through the back door tour is to offer a community service, perhaps a lecture. ;)

    Plan to spend more than one day at Pearl Harbor, there is a lot to see and it is never fun to rush it. He might have to leave the family at the beach to soak up all the history, especially since Ft. Shafter, Hickam AFB, Schofield Barracks, Wheeler AFB are relatively close by. Also, a visit to Punchbowl National Cemetery is worth the time and has lots of history.
    Aloha from one of the Lehia Street twins! :wave:
     
  10. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Midwest: thank you so much!

    suggestion: you need to change your moniker - if you grew up in the islands you can't be "Midwest!"
     
  11. Midwest

    Midwest Member

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    Mahalo USMCGrunt. Us military brats work real hard at trying to be from somewhere, but the truth is we seem to be from everywhere. Between the brats and cheese curds, I'm starting to fit in which is why I decided to be "Midwest" for this forum. But I still have surfboards hanging in the garage and surf the Great Lakes. ;)
     
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