Pearl Harbor is Hawaii’s most renowned harbor. It is a 12,600-acre (8.5 square miles) harbor, located just to the northwest of Honolulu, named for the small pearl oysters found there in abundance in the early 1800s. On December 7, 1941, during World War II, it was the target of a devastating air attack in which 353 Japanese war planes swooped down on the harbor and torpedoed “Battleship Row,” sinking an entire fleet of American battleships: the Arizona, Nevada, Vestal, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Maryland, Neosho and California. In all, 2,335 U.S. military personnel and 68 civilians were killed in the attack.
USS Arizona Memorial
Today, the foremost visitor draw at Pearl Harbor is the USS Arizona Memorial, built directly over the sunken battleship, which lies beneath 40 feet of water, entombing in its hull all 1,100 servicemen who were on board during the attack. The memorial comprises a gracefully-arched, 184-foot-long, distinctive white structure, located in the center of the harbor, with a viewing area from where you can see, some 7 or 8 feet below, the hull of the battleship.
USS Bowfin and the Moanalua Gardens
Also of interest, located close to the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center, is the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, where you can visit a real, 1,500-ton submarine, the USS Bowfin, and tour its various sections, including the Captain’s Room, officers’ quarters, sleeping quarters, bunk room, mess-cum-kitchen, torpedo room, engine rooms, and a maneuvering room.
Another place of interest in the Pearl Harbor area is the 26-acre Moanalua Gardens, which has huge monkey pod trees and an historic, royal summer cottage.
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