The Warships of Pearl Harbor

Many people know the history of Pearl Harbor, particularly during the Second World War, when it was attacked by the Japanese. Today, the town of Pearl Harbor, Oahu, is awash with visitors and tourists who come to see the memorials and learn more about Pearl Harbor and the attacks. Discover Hawaii Tours offers a number of Pearl Harbor tour options which bring the history of Pearl Harbor to life, including tours which will allow you, your family, and your friends to experience the power and enormity of World War II warships up close.


Perhaps the most famous warship at Pearl Harbor is now the one that lays at the bottom of the harbor, the USS Missouri. The ship, along with more than 1,000 officers and crewmen who were on board during the attacks, are now remembered by the incredible USS Arizona memorial which sits over top of it. While straddling the sunken hull of the ship, the Pearl Harbor Arizona Memorial does not touch any part of the boat. An endless supply of black oil leaks from the sunken warship. This leak has now come to be known as the Black Tears of the Arizona, still mourning the lives that were lost during the terrible attacks. Today, the memorial is a solemn reminder of what happened on that site so many years ago.

Watching over the USS Arizona is the USS Missouri, otherwise known as Mighty Mo. This ship’s massive turret guns were nearly unmatched in their power during the Second World War. It took three years to complete the building of Mighty Mo and served at both Iwo Jima and Okinawa. After World War II, Mighty Mo went on to serve in the Korean War as well as during Operation Desert Storm. After being decommissioned, Mighty Mo was donated to the USS Missouri Memorial Association, and now sits in Pearl Harbor with a watchful eye over the Arizona. Mighty Mo’s proudest moment was perhaps at the end of World War II, when its decks served as the site of the surrender by the Japanese. The signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender effectively ended the Second World War.

Another not-to-be-missed warship memorial at Pearl Harbor is the USS Oklahoma Memorial. Like the Arizona, the Oklahoma was sunk during the attacks on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 including 429 brave men onboard the ship. This memorial to the lives lost on the Oklahoma includes black granite walls that represent the hull of the battle ship. Standing amid the granite walls are 429 white pillars, representing men at attention aboard the ship. Like other battleships at the time, the wreckage of the Oklahoma was salvaged for scraps, but the military never repaired it enough to return it to service. Instead, the memorial now stands on Ford Island as a reminder of the lives that were lost.

These sights, and so many others, are not to be missed when you visit Pearl Harbor on Oahu. If you’d like help to see the best sites and get on the best tours of these incredible historical sites, consider booking a seat aboard any one of Discover Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor Tour options. The knowledgeable staff at Discover Hawaii Tours is eager to share this history with you and your family and friends.

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