Pearl Harbor Tours
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Frequently Asked Questions

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Unfortunately, the answer is no. As per Pearl Harbor visitor’s center rules, any bag or container that can provide concealment is prohibited. You may carry a small clear plastic bag for absolute essentials, but we recommend that you only bring items that can be carried on your person without bags. The only exceptions made are for bags that serve a clear medical purpose. For cases such as these, please let us know in advance so that we can inform Pearl Harbor security of your situation. If you absolutely must bring your purse into Pearl Harbor, a storage facility operated by the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park is available. The storage fee is $4 per bag. The storage facility operates daily from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Visitors may use the same bag storage for visits to all Pearl Harbor Historic Sites, though we still advise against bringing personal bags into Pearl Harbor.
Pearl harbor is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. It is open all other days of the year unless inclement weather or political conditions cause a closure. If you are uncertain, please check with your tour company.
Regarding tickets to Pearl Harbor, most visitors are interested in tickets for the Arizona Memorial program. That program includes a 23 minute film about the attack, the Navy shuttle boat ride to the Arizona Memorial, and time aboard the USS Arizona Memorial. These tickets are included in all of our Pearl Harbor Tours. You may obtain walk-up tickets to Pearl Harbor by standing in line for the limited tickets reserved for walk-in guests and walk-up tickets can only be obtained on the same day as the tour. Additionally, each member of your party must be present to get a ticket. This is NOT recommended however as walk-up guests often experience line wait times exceeding 7 hours. In short, the most convenient way to experience Pearl Harbor is to book through a tour company as this guarantee your place aboard the Memorial, without the lines or headaches to find parking.
Yes, but please keep in mind that you cannot take it everywhere. Strollers are allowed in the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, but not in the theaters or on shuttle boats to the USS Arizona Memorial. While you are in the theater you can park your stroller outside and pick it up when you get back from the Arizona Memorial. While we cannot guarantee that it will be monitored while you are gone for the duration of the program, it will be stored in an area where the Park Rangers are stationed. If you bring a stroller to Pearl Harbor, please do not try to stuff your stroller full of items. If you have a diaper bag in your stroller you will not be able to enter with that bag, but diapers and cleaning wipes can be stored in the stroller.
Yes. You can take photos everywhere EXCEPT on the Admiral Clarey Bridge to Ford Island. Cameras and video cameras are allowed inside Pearl Harbor, though camera bags are still prohibited. However, if you bring a large camera such as a full-size DSLR, Pearl Harbor security may need to inspect it. Additionally, commercial filming is prohibited without a permit. Keep in mind you can only take what you can fit in your pockets and a camera that you can carry in your hands, lenses included.
The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is accessible for visitors with disabilities. There is reserved accessible parking in the front lot, nearest to the entrance. The restrooms, Movie Theater, exhibit galleries, bookstore, information desk, drinking fountains, Navy shuttle boats, and all three rooms of the USS Arizona Memorial are accessible to visitors in wheelchairs. Benches are located throughout the area to allow those who face difficult walking an opportunity to rest. Except in the case of emergencies, the Pearl Harbor visitor’s center does not offer wheelchairs. If you require a wheelchair, we suggest you bring your own or arrange for one from a third party rental company prior to your visit. For visitors with hearing impairments, the film shown in the theater is fully captioned in English. Additionally, there is an induction loop for use with hearing aids. Visually impaired visitors will find signage in braille and tactile models of various interpretive resources throughout the site. For immediate medical concerns, EMS is available and a hospital is nearby. While security measures prohibit personal bags, those necessary for a clear medical need such as oxygen tanks and insulin will be allowed on a case-by-case basis, at the discretion of park staff. Overall, please let your tour staff knows of any medical issues you may have so that they can best accommodate your needs. The Arizona Memorial is wheelchair accessible and there is a ramp from the Navy shuttle boat to the memorial. The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park are also wheelchair accessible, however the submarine itself is not. There are two wheelchair accessible restrooms on site. Please keep in mind that the USS Bowfin was designed and built for use by young, fit sailors and as such, may post a mobility challenge some guests. Please exercise caution if you do choose to tour the submarine. Guide dogs, hearing dogs and assistance dogs are also welcome in areas of the Museum and Park. The Battleship Missouri and Memorial are wheelchair accessible. The Battleship Missouri Memorial has wheelchairs available for visitors to checkout at the main entrance. The battleship also contains two elevators for guest access. While visitors in wheelchairs can explore the main deck and the surrender deck, some parts of the Missouri are inaccessible to wheelchairs because they require steep ladders or high thresholds. Restrooms, the Slider’s Grill, and the Victory Store remain accessible to wheelchairs. For hearing impaired visitors, an Acoustic Guide script is available at no additional charge. Wheelchairs provided by the Pacific Aviation Museum can access all parts of the Pacific Aviation Museum including the hangars, shop, restaurant, and restrooms.
While there is no official Pearl Harbor dress code, park rangers reserve the right to ask visitors to leave if they are dressed inappropriately. Inappropriate dress includes, but is not limited to, bathing suits, T-shirts bearing profane messages or graphic imagery, and apparel showing excessive skin. Remember that Pearl Harbor is the site of a tremendous loss of life in service to our country. Many sailors remain within the USS Arizona as their final resting place. While there is no requirement for civilians to be in formal attire, please be respectful of the significance of the memorial. Sandals are permissible. Flip flops, or “slippahs” as we call them in Hawaii, are also acceptable. We also suggest you bring a jacket just in case it rains on the day of your trip. For active, reserve, and guard members of the US Military, standards for military dress will be enforced by Navy personnel. Per the orders of the installation commander, military visitors who elect to visit the memorial in uniform are required to dress in Class “B” or better. Battle dress uniforms are not allowed on the USS Arizona Memorial, though they are allowed throughout the visitor center and at sites on Ford Island. Military visitors are welcome to visit in civilian attire.
Unfortunately, there are situations where the Pearl Harbor visitor’s center has run out of passes for admission onto the Memorial for a given day. The only ways to avoid this are to book your tour in advance through a tour company (they are allotted a number of admission slots for their customers for a given tour date) or to arrive at Pearl Harbor on another day well before 6:00am to wait in line. Regardless, you can still visit the exhibits and museums without admission tickets to the Arizona Memorial. Additionally, visits to the Pacific Air Museum and the Battleship Missouri almost never sell out, so those options are also available.
The desire to experience the rich history of such a pivotal moment in US and World history is what drives so many to journey to Hawaii and to Pearl Harbor. Understanding the motivations, experiences, and lessons learned by the US and Japanese militaries are what drives us to strive for peace in the modern era. Visiting and paying respects to fallen warriors at memorials such as the USS Arizona Memorial, and visiting museums to understand their history are some of the ways that we can honor their memory and show our commitment to a better world and a brighter future.
Admission to the USS Arizona Memorial is free. While we caution all visitors not to be scammed, please understand that tour packages to the memorial incur a cost due to the other facets of the tour such as transportation, guides, and meals. That being said, the reason that admission to the memorial is free is because the USS Arizona is a cemetery. The men who died on the Arizona remain there to this day. For walk-up visitors, there is a set number of admission tickets available for any given day, though those tickets must be claimed and used on the same day. Tour companies are also allotted a number of admission tickets for their customers for any given day. Be wary of individuals or tour companies that offer to set just admission tickets to the memorial without any of the perks you would expect out of a tour service. USS Arizona Memorial admission on its own IS FREE.
The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum, the Battleship USS Missouri, and Pacific Aviation Museum are available in addition to the USS Arizona Memorial. The Oklahoma memorial is the newest memorial at Pearl Harbor. We recommend tours to all of these historic and engaging Historical Sites while you’re at Pearl Harbor!
Yes, you are able to drive yourself to Pearl Harbor. There is a parking lot for rental or personally owned vehicles. Be advised that companies are NOT allowed to meet guests at Pearl Harbor. Tours to Pearl Harbor include transportation, professional narration, and admission on board the Arizona Memorial. Unless you are will to arrive at Pearl Harbor well before 6:00am, we recommend against visiting Pearl Harbor on your own as there is the possibility of waiting for hours in line, or that admission tickets run out. Parking at Pearl Harbor is limited and may not be available when you arrive. If you are interested in visiting the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the Oklahoma Memorial or the Pacific Aviation Museum, you should book a tour. Only authorized drivers and vehicles are allowed to drive across the Admiral Clarey Bridge to Ford Island where those sites are located. Unless you have valid military ID and authorization, you will not be able to drive yourself there.
Wheelchairs are NOT available for rent. When you make a reservation, please let us know of any mobility restrictions you, or someone in your party may have so an appropriate vehicle can be scheduled. In addition, specify which of the following apply to you: if you are able to walk up the three steps of the vehicle, if you will need a wheelchair lift, and if you are bringing a collapsible wheelchair and sitting in a seat.
The fee for baggage storage at Pearl Harbor is $4.00, with an option to have a locked storage compartment. Be advised that there is often a line to put your bag in storage and to retrieve it. You cannot have your bag at any of the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites. If you miss your session on board the Arizona Memorial due to line issues at back storage, your reservation is NON-REFUNDABLE. Additionally, depending on your tour package, you may not be able to store your bags on board the tour vehicle.
Absolutely. We recommend booking your tour well before leaving home. Pearl Harbor is the busiest attraction in Hawaii and capacity is strictly limited and enforced. The boat that takes visitors to the Arizona Memorial only has a capacity of 150 people at a time. There are thousands of visitors who want to go to Pearl Harbor every day. Many arrive only to find out that the lines are too long and they end up not being able to gain admission. Remember, walk-up tickets are only available for the day of the walk-up. Book Pearl Harbor tours that include admissions, tickets, guides and transportation to ensure that you do not miss out. Even tour companies sell out of tickets in advance because the tickets are limited.
It is absolutely OK to bring kids to Pearl Harbor. It is one of the best ways to encourage an interest in world history and teach children about the lessons of the past. Adults and kids alike can learn more by visiting Pearl Harbor than in any history class. Remember to bring sunscreen and hats though, as much of Pearl Harbor is outdoors. You will have moments of direct sunlight. Avoid ruining a vacation with sunburn by protecting your and your children’s skin. If necessary, we recommend a front carried baby sling over a stroller as strollers are not allowed on the boat to the Arizona Memorial. Please be aware of the USS Bowfin age restrictions; children under 4 are not allowed on or in the submarine.
The Pearl Harbor visitor’s center strives to be as family friendly as possible. With the exception of the USS Bowfin, all other opportunities at Pearl Harbor are open to the entire family. We understand that the deciding factor with families is how long the kids can spend touring. If you are concerned that your baby may not be able to handle more than a few hours on a tour then you should choose the shortest tour: the Pearl Harbor & Honolulu City Tour.
All of our tours of Pearl Harbor include round-trip transportation from Waikiki to Pearl Harbor. Tours from other islands include round-trip transportation from and to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Live historical narration is provided by an expert guide. Admission tickets for the Arizona memorial program include a short film about the attack and shuttle boat ride to the Arizona Memorial. There will also be free time at Pearl Harbor to shop in the bookstore, browse the other exhibits, get snacks, and take photos.
In general, guides do not accompany visitors on the shuttle boat to the memorial, or on USS Arizona Memorial. It is a place for solemn remembrance of the men who died for their country. The National Park discourages guides from accompanying visitors to the memorial in order to keep the volume low and allow visitors to pay respect without distraction.
If you or someone in your party has a valid military ID, then yes. However, you must arrange your own transportation to and from the exhibit as it is not included on any tour packages.
Pearl Harbor is open daily from 7am to 5pm. Exceptions include Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
Yes, there are special Memorial Day events. Generally, it begins with a flag raising and bell ringing ceremony. In the past, survivors have been on site. Additionally, there have been flag ceremonies, book signings, and Memorial Day events at Pearl Harbor. We recommend against booking reservations for Memorial Day, as it is busier because people anticipate special ceremonies. The crowds may cause delays as you walk through exhibits and sites at Pearl Harbor.
Yes, the general public can visit Pearl Harbor for the December 7th Ceremony. Due to the immense historical significance of the day and the importance of the ceremony, we recommend taking extra precautions and special considerations when making your reservation. Due the special ceremonies taking place at the memorial, TOURS TO THE MEMORIAL DO NOT OPERATES ON DECEMBER 7TH. Many visitors plan to visit during December 7th Ceremony only to find that access to the memorial is closed off for the day. We recommend booking a reservation for December 7th ONLY if you have boarded the memorial once before and are more interested in seeing dignitaries, survivors, and politicians than the memorial itself.
Yes you can. There is a cruise ship operated by Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) that does travel between Hawaiian Islands. You will have a chance to visit Pearl Harbor through this cruise as well. However, please be cognizant of the fact that the hundreds of other visitors on the cruise will want to visit the memorial as well. Most of our Pearl Harbor tours are in small groups for a more personal and intimate experience. Regarding chartering a boat for inter-island travel: this may be common in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, BUT NOT in Hawaii. The seas between islands are far more treacherous than the Caribbean or Mediterranean. There is a reason that Hawaii is famous for surfing. We have BIG surf. We also have plenty of wind and strong currents. Sailing in Hawaii is great, but it is difficult and not as comfortable as other places in the world. For those reasons, there is no thriving charter boat industry for inter-island travel.
The Pearl Harbor visitor’s center hours are 7:00am to 5:00pm. The programs at the Arizona memorial are 7:30am to 3:00pm. You may arrive at Pearl Harbor after 3:00pm, but there will be no visits aboard the Arizona Memorial. You will still be able to see it from the land and visit the exhibits and bookstore. If you arrive before 7:00am you can stand in line for the gates to open. It is better to arrange a tour in advance to make the most of your time. Tours work within Pearl Harbor hours to make sure you get the most out of the experience. Pearl harbor is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. It is open all other days of the year unless inclement weather or political conditions cause a closure. If you are uncertain, please check with your tour company.
Since admission onto the Arizona Memorial is free, no military discounts are offered. The USS Utah does offer a $4 discount for walk-up guests with valid active duty military ID.
Pearl Harbor is on the island of Oahu. The nearest airport is Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Tours to Pearl Harbor are available from other islands for visitors staying on Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island.

About Pearl Harbor Tours

Please let us know if you made an order and have not received an email confirmation, and we will resend that confirmation to the specified email address. - It may have been automatically sorted into your spam folder - You entered your email address wrong. If you feel that this may be the case, please contact us to correct the issue and a confirmation will be resent. - Your confirmation hasn’t been completed yet. Occasionally, we may take longer to confirm your reservation due to availability and scheduling checks. Usually, we will have your confirmation finalized and sent within 24 hours. If you have not received a confirmation 24 hours, please contact us.
Although it may appear cheaper to book your own flight, you may be forced to deal with any unforeseen issues on your own, such as flight delays or cancellations. By booking an Inter-island tour, we will adjust the tour to accommodate any issues caused by the airlines. You may still choose to book a flight on your own, but please understand that if you miss your flight due to an airline cancellation, delay, or traffic on the way to the airport, you will forfeit your seating on the tour, and in that case would be non-refundable. Booking an Inter-island tour ensures that the tour company will take responsibility for your travel.
Some reasons why tours to the USS Arizona Memorial include but are not limited to: inclement weather, boat mechanical problems, and safety issues regarding the memorial itself. We will do our best to provide as much advance notice as possible before your tour. While boarding the Arizona Memorial is a major component of the tour, the Pearl Harbor visitor’s center, museums, exhibits, and movie are all important parts of the Pearl Harbor experience and understanding of Pearl Harbor’s history. In some cases, boats may sail past, but not allow passengers to disembark onto the memorial. These events are beyond the control of the tour company and operational discretion is entirely at the hands of the US Navy.
Depending on the tour package that you have selected, an airport drop-off may be included. However, please note that the Pearl Harbor visitor’s center can accommodate at most, carry-on baggage. Please contact us to confirm luggage accountability should airport-drop off be an option in your tour package.
Guests staying in Waikiki will be picked up at or near their hotel. Tour pick-up locations are within a 5 minute walk from your hotel. After you book your tour, you will receive an email with your ticket and specific instructions regarding pick-up location, time, and transportation vehicle. If you a disability or mobility concerns that require additional accommodations, please let us know before, or during the booking process; you may indicate “wheelchair” in the notes section. In addition, please specify if a wheelchair lift is necessary, or if you are able to walk up a few steps. For Inter-Island tours, the tour pick-up location will be upon arrival at Honolulu International Airport (HNL). Your tour voucher will have more specific instructions regarding Tour pick-up.
Most Pearl Harbor Tours depart from Waikiki. However, if you are staying in a private residence or at a hotel outside of Waikiki, please take extra care to ensure your arrival at the pick-up location specified on your ticket. In addition, please budget enough time to account for traffic, and looking for parking as these are primary concerns in and around Waikiki. We would suggest parking at Ala Moana Center, and budgeting around 15-20 minutes to walk into Waikiki. In some cases, the pick-up location will be across the street at the Ala Moana Hotel. Tour companies are NOT allowed to meet guests at Pearl Harbor. Please remember that you cannot meet your tour at Pearl Harbor.
In general, it’s always a good idea to book tours and activities in Hawaii ahead of your arrival. Unfortunately, many visitors make reservations after they’ve left home only to find that most tours within their timeframe are sold out.
Pearl Harbor is located on Oahu, but if you are staying on a neighbor island, we have Pearl Harbor tours from Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. These tours include round trip airfare and pick-up from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), a 10 minute drive from Pearl Harbor. Inter-island tours primarily include flights on jets with a flight time of 25 – 40 minutes. There are no boats or ferries offering tours between the islands. Lunch is available on most tours. Please double check the tour descriptions to see if lunch is provided on your desired tour. The narrated portion of the tours begin after you are picked up at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Please note that there are no one-day Pearl Harbor tours available from Hilo. If you are staying in Hilo or near the Volcano on Hawaii, the Big Island, you will need to drive to Kona for a one-day tour. Tours on the Big Island depart from Kona. Pearl Harbor tours are not offered from the islands of Molokai or Lanai. However, visitors to these islands can still arrange private transportation to Oahu and book an Oahu based tour.
If you absolutely captivated by the history of Pearl Harbor, choose the tour that includes the most site visits. If Pearl Harbor is a site you feel like you have to visit, but aren’t all that much interested in the surround history, choose a short tour.
- Gratuity: All tours in Hawaii do not include gratuity unless stated otherwise. Tour guides work for tips, so please consider the effort that they put into your safety and entertainment as you depart your tour. - Food & Beverage: Some packages include lunch. Be sure to check your tour package to confirm if lunch will be provided. - Photos: You will have the opportunity to take photos at various locations throughout your tour. Professional photography is optional and not provided unless otherwise noted on your reservation. - Baggage storage: You should avoid bringing any bags to Pearl Harbor because they will be in storage for the the entirety of the visit. In addition, you will have to pay the storage fee. For more information, please visit the official Pearl Harbor Historic Sites page at
In general, guides do not accompany visitors on the shuttle boat to the memorial, or on USS Arizona Memorial. It is a place for solemn remembrance of the men who died for their country. The National Park discourages guides from accompanying visitors to the memorial in order to keep the volume low and allow visitors to pay respect without distraction.
You can find the details of our cancellation policy here.
For our tour packages, a 23 minute film about the attack and a visit to memorial is part of every program. This alone is about 75 minutes long. Tours that include sites such as the USS Missouri, USS Bowfin Submarine, and the Pacific Aviation Museum may take in total between 6 and 13 hours.
Before September 11th, 2001, boat tours to Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial from the water were an option. Today, commercial vessels are not allowed in the harbor. Since Pearl Harbor is still an active US Navy base, maritime security laws are still in full effect. The only way to board the Arizona Memorial is through a tour company package, or through a walk-in tour reservation at the Pearl Harbor visitor’s center. Keep in mind though that book through a tour company provides you will transportation to and from your hotel, as well as many other perks.

Pearl Harbor History

Actually, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a coordinated air raid and submarine attack, though the brunt of the attacking force comprised the air component. The mastermind of the attack, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, decided that an air attack would provide the greatest damage to the US Pacific Fleet with the lowest risk the Japanese Imperial Navy fleet. He also surmised that an air attack would be the best ambush because the A6M5 “Zero” planes could travel faster than surface ships and remain undetected. The objective of the Pearl Harbor attack was to cripple the US Pacific fleet to prevent their participation in the Pacific Theater. However, the Japanese had assumed incorrectly that this would keep the American military down. While the Pacific fleet was initial crippled, American morale was set to rebound to all-time highs during World War 2.
There were a total of 2,403 personnel killed, including 2,008 Navy personnel, 109 Marines, 218 Army soldiers, and 68 civilians. 1,177 of those killed were from the USS Arizona. 1,143 were wounded with 710 Navy personnel, 69 Marines, 364 Army soldiers, and 103 civilians. Personnel losses for the Japanese in the attack were 55 men.
Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7th, 1941. At 0749 hours, Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) Cmdr Mitsuo Fuchida gave the order “To To To” deploy into attack formation. The famous attack order “Tora Tora Tora” was made at 0753 hours and the attack begin. The first attack wave struck Pearl Harbor at 0755 hours.
The Pursuit Officer on duty was Lieutenant Kermit Tyler, an Army Air Forces pilot. It was his second day on the job and he thought that the planes spotted on radar were US Army air force B-17 heavy bombers on their way to Hickam Field from California. His fatal mistake was reflected in made the infamous statement, “Don’t worry about it”.
The attack began with the order to attack, “To To To”, at 0749 hours. By 0800 hours the majority of US fighter planes were destroyed. Since they were lined up on the airfield, they were easy targets for the Zero’s strafing runs. The B5N torpedo bombers inflicted most of the initial damage to the ships at Pearl Harbor. The Torpedo attack lasted about 11 minutes and was followed by D3A dive bombers. It was one of these dive bombers in the first wave of the attack that hit the USS Arizona’s magazine, causing the devastating explosion. The second wave of the attack arrived at 0840 hours. There were 167 aircraft in the second wave. A major goal of the second wave was to attack Ford Island, Hickam Field, and Kanoehe Naval Air Station. The second wave of the attack was not able to inflict as much damage as the first. By 0950 hours, the first wave of the strike force was arriving back at their carriers. At the same time the second wave was completing their attack and departing Oahu.
The Battleship USS Missouri was anchored in the middle of Tokyo Bay. There were more than 250 allied warships in attendance at Tokyo Bay when the surrender was signed. Today, the USS Missouri remains in Pearl Harbor at docked at Ford Island. On the bow of the USS Missouri tour, you will stand on the surrender deck where the surrender signing that officially ended WWII was held.
The battleship Nagato was the only Japanese ships at the surrender ceremony on September 2, 1945. She was the only battleship from the IJN to make it to the end of WWII. She was commissioned in 1920 she was one of the last of the Japanese dreadnought battleships in addition to being part of the “Big 7” (naval ships that were allowed to mount 16” main gun batteries outside of the Washington Naval Treaty). Nagato was present at many important battles during the war and served as the flagship of the Kido Butai, the strike force that attacked Pearl Harbor. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was on the Nagato when he gave the final order to attack Pearl Harbor. When the surrender ceremony took place on the USS Missouri on September 2, 1945, Nagato was in Tokyo Bay. While the US Navy was concerned about an attack from rebellious sailors on Nagato as they entered the Bay, no such attack took place. After the war, Nagato was taken by the United States a war prize. She was old and damaged so she was of no use as a capital ship. Instead she was used in American nuclear tests. In July 1946, Nagato was sunk during an atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll.
The USS Arizona is the final resting place to hundreds of sailors. After an inspection a few months following the attack, the Navy decided to leave them and the ship where they rest. It was determined that there was so much damage that the ship was considered a total loss and could not be salvaged. It should be noted that some parts from the Arizona were taken for use on other ships during WWII. After deciding that the ship could not be salvaged, that the remains of the Arizona was not a navigation risk, and that she would be left where she was, the Navy decided that the men would be considered buried at sea because. The same decision was made for the USS Utah. The USS Oklahoma was also sunk during the attack, but she raised and put in drydock in 1943. In 1944, the USS Oklahoma was decommissioned. She eventually sunk to the bottom of the ocean as she was being towed to the US mainland. All of the other ships sunk or damaged during the attack were returned to service.
Several individuals and organizations raised funds to build the Arizona Memorial. National Park rangers at Pearl Harbor are often asked, “Did Elvis Presley pay for the Arizona Memorial”. In short, he did not pay for the entire memorial, but did make a considerable contribution. Presley held a benefit concert at Bloch Arena to raise money for the Arizona Memorial and raised well over $64,000; more than 10% of the final cost. The concert was held on March 25, 1961, three years after Ralph Edwards, host of the TV series “This Is Your Life”, raised $95,000. Another rumor regarding Elvis and the Arizona Memorial was that he was paid for the benefit concert. That is false; Elvis, along with his manager, Colonel Parker, made an additional contribution to the efforts to build the memorial. The Arizona Memorial was dedicated the following year on May 30, 1962.
There was much speculation as to whether President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was given cocaine before his famous “Day of Infamy Speech“. On December 7th and 8th, FDR was suffering from a sinus infection. His doctor and friend, Ross T. McIntire was on hand to treat the problem. Dr. McIntire’s intent was to improve FDR’s ability to breathe by decreasing the swelling of nasal mucosa. He wanted to decrease swelling without causing crusting. The exact procedure that McIntire used to decrease swelling in FDR’s nose is not entirely known, though he had been seen using cotton swabs. It is likely that he also irrigated the sinuses by putting a needle up the nose into the sinuses, then injecting saline into the sinus cavity. At the time, it was common for doctors to use cocaine in these treatments. Cocaine was illegal for recreational use in the United States, but was legal in professional medicine. Cocaine would shrink the tissue, giving the patient quick relief. It also numbed the area making the insertion of the needle less painful. Again, it is not known if Dr. McIntire used cocaine when treating FDR’s sinus infection during his “Day of Infamy Speech”. If he had used cocaine, it would have been highly diluted, most likely not having a noticeable effect or measurable impact on the President. Furthermore, it is believed that if cocaine was used on FDR, he would not have been told. There are two reasons why President Roosevelt would not be told of this. First, it was common to not tell patients who were administered cocaine; tt was believed that by not telling them they would be less likely to become addicted. Second, it was a political topic and Dr. McIntire not have wanted that controversial political exposure to surround the president. We may never know if FDR used cocaine, but we do know that it was a great speech.
Construction on the memorial began in 1960. The USS Arizona Memorial was built over the next two years and dedicated on Memorial Day, May 30th, 1962. The construction was managed by the Walker-Moody Construction Company with assistance The Pearl Harbor Public Works Center. While the memorial is meant to look as though it is gracefully floating above the sunken USS Arizona, the memorial is actually supported by concrete columns driven 80 feet into the silt of Pearl Harbor. Many ask, “Did Elvis Presley build the USS Arizona Memorial?” Others are surprised to find out that the design for the memorial was made by Austrian-born American, Mr. Alfred Preis.
Though the exact number is unknown, the most accepted figure is that 58 men died on the Utah. Four of the 58 men were buried on land, but 54 of them are still entombed inside the ship.

General Questions

Pearl Harbor is on the island of Oahu. The nearest airport is Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. Tours to Pearl Harbor are available from other islands for visitors staying on Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island.
No, Pearl Harbor is an active military base and not a National Park. The Arizona Memorial, Oklahoma Memorial, and USS Utah Memorial are part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. National Parks and National Monuments are technically different, but they are both operated by the National Park Service, an office under the US Department of the Interior. Tours to Pearl Harbor are authorized by the National Park Service. The tours that we offer are only official tours. Beware of some companies that do not have official status with the National Park Service, and don’t be afraid to ask.
While the Pearl Harbor visitor’s center does accept contact, the most effective form is through email. If you have any Pearl Harbor specific questions that do not relate to tours, please visit them at
Pearl Harbor is located on the Island of Oahu, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is a 10 minute drive from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, and a 20 minute drive from Waikiki, depending on traffic.
Yes as of this writing, the USS Arizona oil leak continues to be seen in the water. After over 70 years it has not stopped. On the memorial, when you look down at the battleship below the water, you will see the rainbow oil colors on the surface. There have been studies done to determine whether the leaking oil is an environmental hazard and the Navy determined that the slow, gradual dilution of oil was a safer option than recovering the oil reserves as a whole. Microbiologist, Ralph Mitchell studied the bacteria living in the harbor and found that they were feeding off of the oil leaking from the USS Arizona. Additionally, he determined that the bacteria was speeding the corrosion of the monument. Funding issues prevented more studies and any action from resulting.
Over the years, the answer to this question has changed. The original plan sought to commemorate the men who died on the USS Arizona and that seemed fitting. The problem was that there were many other heroes of Pearl Harbor who died for their country. While the Arizona Memorial was the first monument to be constructed as a memorial at Pearl Harbor it represented nearly half of those killed at Pearl Harbor; there were others who did not have a memorial. Thus, the USS Arizona Memorial came to commemorate all of the military personnel who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor. Today, Pearl Harbor is home to monuments to the men of the USS Utah, the USS Utah Memorial, and the beautiful USS Oklahoma Memorial. Both are located on Ford Island, but the USS Utah Memorial requires military ID to visit.