American Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat Fighter of 1942 in Hangar 37 of the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum of Hawaii.

© Benny Marty/Shutterstock

Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum

Pearl Harbor & Leeward O‘ahu

This military aircraft museum covers WWII and the conflicts in Korea, Vietnam and beyond. The first aircraft hangar, number 37, features exhibits on the Pearl Harbor attack, the Doolittle Raid on mainland Japan in 1942 and the pivotal Battle of Midway, when the tides of WWII in the Pacific turned in favor of the Allies. Authentically restored planes on display here include a Japanese Zero and a Dauntless navy dive bomber – the single-engined star of 2019's big-budget film Midway.

Walk next door to explore the MiG Alley Korean War exhibit, or take a guided tour to look behind the scenes at restoration work in Hangar 79's WWII-era maintenance shop, where you can see ongoing work on a B-17 and other planes. Out on the tarmac, in the shadow of the famous old control tower, you can imagine what it was like in this same spot on December 7, 1941.

To visit the museum, board the mandatory Ford Island visitor shuttle bus (bring photo ID) outside the visitor center's Aloha Court. You'll need to ride the shuttle between the museum and the nearby USS Missouri, as pedestrians are subject to arrest by navy police.

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