News Release: Pearl Harbor (Sept. 16, 2011) — The Pearl Harbor Historic Sites are partnering this year to commemorate the official “birthdays” of each branch of the United States Armed Forces with free admission specials.
From Sept. 17 to 25, the historic sites will celebrate the U.S. Air Force’s birthday (Sept. 18) by offering free admission to active-duty, reserve and retired Air Force personnel and their dependents. Qualified visitors must present a valid military I.D. upon entering the sites of their choice, including the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, Battleship Missouri Memorial, and Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor. The USS Arizona Memorial and USS Oklahoma Memorial do not charge general admission.
Sept. 18 marks the birthday of the modern U.S. Air Force, the preeminent air power of the 21st century. With origins as the Army Air Force, the Air Force became a separate service on Sept. 18, 1947, after helping to achieve the Allies’ victory in World War II. Thus, the Air Force joined the Army and Navy under the newly established U.S. Department of Defense.
In fourth quarter 2011, the historic sites will jointly celebrate this year’s remaining service branch birthdays: the Navy’s birthday (Oct. 8) from Oct. 8 to 16, Marines Corps birthday (Nov. 10) from Nov. 5 to 13, and the National Guard’s birthday (Dec. 13) from Dec. 10 to 18.
About the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites
WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument
(USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma and USS Utah Memorials)
The USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma and USS Utah Memorials are operated and maintained by the National Park Service as part of the recently designated WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument. The three ships’ memorials honor and commemorate all members of the U.S. Armed Forces and civilians who gave their lives to their country during the attack on the island of Oahu and Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Visitors to the USS Arizona Memorial take a Navy launch to the memorial. The USS Oklahoma Memorial is located on Ford Island next to the Battleship Missouri and can be accessed via the Missouri shuttle bus. Access to the USS Utah Memorial is limited to those with base access. The visitor center is open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Tickets are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. The first tour is offered at 8 a.m. and the last leaves at 3 p.m. For more information, call (808) 422-3300 or visit
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park
Adjacent to the Pearl Harbor Visitors Center, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, operated as a private, non-profit organization, is dedicated to the sacrifice of more than 3,500 submarine personnel lost in World War II. This gallant band of brothers, compromising less than 2 percent of the U.S. Navy, sank more than 5.5 million tons of enemy ships, while sustaining losses of 52 submarines that remain on Eternal Patrol. The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Combined general admission to the submarine and museum is $10 per adult and $4 per child 4-12. Military, kama‘aina (local resident) and school group pricing is available. For more information, call (808) 423-1341 or visit www.bowfin.org.
Battleship Missouri Memorial
America’s last battleship, the USS Missouri (BB-63), completed an astounding career spanning five decades and three wars — World War II, Korea and Operation Desert Storm — and is best known as the site of Japan’s WWII surrender, which brought history’s most devastating war to a close. Recently returned from drydocking, the 887-foot, 45,000-ton “Mighty Mo” is open for visitors as the Battleship Missouri Memorial, operated as a private, non-profit organization on historic Ford Island in Pearl Harbor. The Battleship Missouri Memorial is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., or from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during summer months (June, July and August). General admission, which includes choice of a guided tour, is $20 per adult and $10 per child 4-12. Military, kama‘aina (local resident) and school group pricing is available. For more information or to reserve a tour, call (toll-free) 1-877-MIGHTYMO (1-877-644-4896) or visit www.ussmissouri.org .
Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor
Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, a private, non-profit organization, occupies the WWII hangars and control tower on Ford Island that still bear the scars as our nation’s first aviation battlefield. Giving visitors a front-row seat to the Pacific Theater and presenting 28 aircraft and their stories, the museum was named “one of the Top Ten Aviation Attractions” by TripAdvisor®. Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $20 per adult and $10 per child 4-12. Military, kama‘aina (local resident) and school group pricing is available. For more information, call (808) 441-1000 or visit
www.PacificAviationMuseum.org. Tickets and a free flight simulator coupon are available online.
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