Pearl Harbor, Urban legends and the Facts

How or why do these urban legends get started. Worse yet with the proliferation of stories that are able to travel faster than the speed of light on the internet, it is very easy to get caught up in them. For me, I don’t know why, but I seem to remember hearing this story when visiting the Arizona Memorial several years back.

It was December 6th and the band members from the USS Arizona had just won the The Battle of the Bands in Block Arena in Honolulu. As a reward for their accomplishment the ship’s captain allowed the band to sleep in that fateful morning of December 7th 1941.

What a story that makes. It has been repeated for years and I know I’ve heard it at least 3 times. But as I started to work on this post something nagged at me and so I did some research. It never happened! Oh no! There goes my hook!

I am posting this site for you to go to as it is very interesting but also is a plea to stop repeating this story. If you are so inclined, here is the web site.

Now for a really hard fact. Pearl Harbor was bombed. No urban legend there. So on this anniversary of the bombing I thought maybe you would be interested to see just what it looks like in this day and age. For those of you who have never taken the trip here are a few helpful hints you might want to remember when and if you come to the islands.

  1. The tour of Pearl Harbor is absolutely FREE! Do not pay some tour company for the tour.
  2. No purses, backpacks or any type of carry on is allowed. You must leave them in your car. My advise would be to leave those all back at the hotel as cars do get broken into.
  3. Parking is free
  4. Expect at least a one to two-hour wait before you are able to get out to the memorial
  5. There is a snack bar there if you do need something to curb your appetite.
  6. There is also a small museum and gift shop that you can browse while waiting.
  7. Oh and most important, you can bring your camera. 🙂

So without further delay, here is my little mini tour.

After you get your ticket ( free but you need it to tell you what time you will be starting your tour.) and they call your time ( you get a time not a number) you will be escorted into a movie theater where they will show a movie about the bombing and a history of the war.

After the movie is over you will be taken out  a side door where you will be board the small craft that will motor  you out to the Memorial. I like sitting in the very back so that I can take unobstructed photos.


DSC_0081_3This is what the boats look like that takes you out to the Memorial

DSC_0085_2 2Looking towards Honolulu.  Quite busy isn’t it. Not the beach lined resort spot that a lot of people think of when they think of Hawaii.

DSC_0089_3Arizona landing. You will enter the memorial here.

DSC_0103_3 2No I’m not always thinking. Especially when I looked up and saw that the flag was flying half-mast. I had totally forgotten where I was and was trying to think of what important person had just died. Then my friend said to me, “your on the memorial and it’s flying for those who died. I felt awful that I didn’t realize that.

On the MemorialYou can look down into the water and into the sunken boat from all these points

DSC_0096_4Oil slicks still leak from the ship

DSC_0107_3 2Leaving the Arizona as the next batch of people take their turn aboard.

DSC_0109_2Battleship Row

DSC_0113This is ford island. I’m not sure but I believe this is where a lot of the Navel officers live. I know I sure would like to live there. Off to the mountains in the far distance you can see the Waianae mountain range. Below those mountains is the area where I live.

And so folks that’s the tour. I hope I have all the facts straight. If not I had best go check my wallet for wooden nickles.