Tuesday, October 03, 2017

38 - Hawaii

Today's touring is to the Pearl Harbor historic site.   We got tickets for a guided tour of the Pacific Aviation Museum.  We don't normally do guided tours, but I'm really glad we did.  Our tour guide was incredibly well informed about WWII! 

The original control tower from 1941.

Inside the first hanger - the first aircraft was Japanese Zero.  I'd never seen one - the guide explained that they were much lighter weight than our planes at the time - since our planes had armor to protect the pilot, engine and fuel.  Apparently, the Japanese pilots weren't protected at all!

This was an Aeronica that was in the air on a simple joy-ride with a father and son the morning of the attack.  They were at about 2000' - all the action of the Japanese planes was much lower - at about 500'.    After a while, the father and son were able to land safely.  The plane was bought/sold a few times over the years before being donated to the museum.   The museum staff restored it to it's appearance at the time.

Typical museum aircraft - very nicely presented.  A B-25 bomber.

This was a pre-1942 paint scheme.  The guide explained that the insignia with the blue circle, white star and red center was the source of some "friendly fire" because the pilots were focusing on the Japanese red circle insignia that was on all their planes.  To limit the confusion, the red center from US planes was ordered removed.

Otherwise the museum housed a lot of interesting and well presented aircraft.

A Boing Stearman that was used as a trainer by the "orignal" George Bush.

When we were done with the first hangar tour, we were taken to a second, larger hangar.  On the way, this "floating radar platform" was pointed out to us.  You can't see it, but it's apparently moored in a bay on the other side of the houses you see in the foreground.  It is towed out to sea at various intervals.  It's huge!  Hard to believe it floats.

I took this photo because it is a Cessna Skymaster - (the military called it an O-2). 

Going into the second hangar, we noted these nice hangar doors.

If you look closely, you'll see the bullet holes that were never repaired after the attack.

This hangar housed a variety of different military aircraft from various eras.

Especially interesting was a B-17 "Flying Fortress".  It was pulled recently from a swamp in New Guinea where it crash landed after battle damage.  The crew was not hurt!  But they did endure 6 weeks of malaria infested travel to reach safety.  They were assigned to another B-17!

And more fairly recent aircraft.

And that was it for the aviation museum.

The final tour of the day was to the USS Arizona Memorial.  After a well done movie educating us a bit more on the events of Dec 7, 1941, we all loaded on a US Navy pontoon-type boat to take us out to the memorial.

It is a solemn place.  Even though there were about 100 people on our boat, it was very quiet and respectful inside the memorial.

You could see some of the remains of the ship - and through the clear waters you could make out the outline of the wreckage.

There is a marble wall engraved with the names and ranks of all 1177 men killed.  The bodies mostly rest below the memorial.   (335 survived - they are allowed to be cremated and Navy divers will place them with their comrades below.  Their names are then added to the engraving on a separate space.)

The viewing areas.

And the flag is always at half-staff.

1 comment:

affectioknit said...

...very nice tour!