The Pacific Aviation Museum | Attraction Guides | History Hit

The Pacific Aviation Museum

Aiea, Hawaii, United States

Lucy Davidson

06 Jul 2021

About The Pacific Aviation Museum

The Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island in Hawaii is dedicated to telling the story of US aviation in the Pacific during World War II.

History of The Pacific Aviation Museum

The museum is located on the historic Ford Island, a 441-acre island in the middle of Pearl Harbour. The museum thus focuses on the fateful day – 7 December 1941 – which effectively forced America to join World War II, when Japanese forces launched a surprise attack on the US military base. As well as the devastating level of human casualty, the base contained some of the largest ships of the US Pacific Fleet, as well as patrol and scout planes which filled the hangars and airfield.

The museum was founded as part of a non-profit in 1999 to develop an aviation museum in Hawaii, and as a wider vision to rebirth Ford Island. The first section of the museum, hangar 37, opened with the museum in 2006, and features a large proportion of the museum’s static exhibits. The hangars themselves also show damage from the attack.

The Pacific Aviation Museum Today

Visitors begin by viewing a film about the attack on Pearl Harbour, before seeing a series of exhibitions ranging from photographs and dioramas to aircrafts. The Pacific Aviation Museum houses numerous aircrafts including light civilian planes, a B-25B Mitchell, a P-40 fighter, and a SBD Dauntless dive bomber. There are even flight simulations, allowing visitors to ’experience’ being a World War II pilot.

The Pacific Aviation Museum also goes beyond World War II, looking at planes that served during the Korean War, such as an F-86 Sabre and a MiG-15.

The museum is heavily involved with community efforts ranging from the preservation of historical landmarks to educational tours throughout Hawaii.

Getting to The Pacific Aviation Museum

Visitors to the museum gain access via a tour bus from the Pearl Harbour Historic Sites on Halawa Landing. From the centre of Honolulu, the museum is reachable by car in 20 minutes via l-H 201 W. Equally, it is a scenic hour-long cycle via Dillingham Blvd.

 

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