Oahu is home to one of the most significant and treasured pieces of American history, the USS Arizona Memorial. With more than a million visitors a year showing their somber respect to the gallant men entombed in her sunken hull, a visit to the USS Arizona Memorial is one of the most popular things to do in Hawaii.
Here’s a look at the secrets that make visiting Pearl Harbor on tour a far more fulfilling than visiting on your own.
Did you know?.. Lesser known secrets of the USS Arizona & Memorial
When the USS Arizona was attacked in Pearl Harbor, an armor-piercing bomb broke through the deck and detonated in the forward ammunition magazine. The lucky hit caused the cataclysmic explosion that was so strong, the blast shock wave blew out fires on the burning USS Vestal moored next to it.
Elvis Presley even held a benefit concert at Pearl Harbor in 1961 to help raise funds for the memorial’s completion which pulled in over $50,000!
Gun turrets from the sunken Arizona were salvaged and outfitted to the USS Nevada which actually shelled the Japanese on the islands of Okinawa and Iwo Jima.
The nearby USS Missouri battleship is where the Japanese signed the Instrument of Surrender which officially ended the war. She is moored with her guns facing the sunken Arizona in eternal protection of her fallen sister.
It’s the little things like this you wouldn’t find out visiting on your own that make taking a tour of Pearl Harbor a more complete and fulfilling experience!
Want to discover more about the USS Arizona Memorial?
Our Hawaii Vacations Travel Guide is full of interesting and helpful information to help you discover more about all of Hawaii’s amazing attractions. From helpful tips on what to see to interesting facts you wouldn’t dream of being true, getting to know the places you want to visit before you go will make being there even more special!