Friday, December 21, 2007

Day at Pearl Harbor

From the BridgeAfter starting the day with a manapua breakfast of champions, Dianne and I spent most of the day at Pearl Harbor. There is a relatively new museum there, the Pacific Aviation Museum that I wanted to check out.

We started with a guided tour of the battleship USS Missouri. I visited the ship many years ago (more decades ago than I care to admit) when it was mothballed in Bremerton, WA. At that time you could only go on the deck and visit the spot where the Japanese surrender documents for WWII were signed.

Now the Missouri is docked next to the Arizona memorial near Ford Island at Pearl Harbor. Not only can you go on deck, but parts of the ship are open and available to tour. In addition, you can pay for a guided tour through parts of several decks inside the Missouri. Dianne and I did that with three other folks. The small group made it a very nice tour. The group can't be that big as you get in to some pretty tight quarters. The guide takes you inside one of the main 16 inch gun turrets, and through various locations such as the officer’s mess, the crew’s mess, sleeping quarters, the post office, the “bank,” the machine shop, the firing control area below the turrets, the boilers, the electrical and steam control areas, the bridge, etc. It was a very interesting tour. If you tour the Missouri, take advantage of that option.

F4F Scene

After the Missouri tour, we went over to the Pacific Aviation Museum. A private group is constructing the museum around the site of the old airfield on Ford Island. The museum is near the site where some of the first bombs in the Pearl Harbor attack hit Ford Island. The museum is in the early stages of development – one of the hangars with planes from the WWII area is complete. Right now it is a small museum, but the planes they have are beautifully restored. The image here shows one of the scenes they created to showcase an F4F. We didn’t spend a lot of time there as there wasn't a lot to see (I found the Missouri tour more interesting), but it is a nice facility. As other hangars open up to cover other eras, it’ll be quite the aviation complex.

Ford Island Control TowerOutside the aviation museum you can see the remains of the old runway 4/22 that is broken up and partially covered with grass. An old control tower building, partially rust stained and in need of repair, still stands. It really jumps out from the blue sky that is enhanced with a polarizing filter.

You can see all the photos of our visit to Ford Island in my Flickr photoset here.


Trei said...

I'm jealous, I want to see Pearl Harbor and the rest of Hawaii!!!!! You should take me the next time you go!!

~Carla~ said...

It will be 45 or so in Cincinnati today. Aren't you wishing you could be home? Keep taking the pictures! I need something good for my desktop photo! :)

Hope you both are having fun, and have a wonderful Christmas!