A Visit to Pearl Harbor
I visited Pearl Harbor during my trip to Hawaii in March. Some photos are below.
You can all Google “Pearl Harbor” and read up on the events that took place just as well as anyone, so I’ll spare you the basic history lesson.
The Pearl Harbor site is a well run tourist destination and is a lot of fun to visit. Everything is well organized, it is easy to get around, and there are extremely knowledgable tour guides ready to tell you countless stories about the events that transpired during the Pearl Harbor attacks.
One story that was particularly interesting was about the burial at sea of one of the kamikaze pilots that struck the U.S.S. Missouri. There is a quick summary of this event on the Pearl Harbor Hawaii website.
A damaged kamikaze struck the battleship’s starboard side on April 11, starting a superficial gasoline fire that was quickly controlled. Captain William Callaghan, deciding that the Japanese pilot had acted honorably and in accordance with the rules of war, commanded that he be given a military burial at sea.
To continue the story, in order to give the Japanese pilot a proper burial at sea they had to get a Japanese flag to wrap the body in, which they did not have on the ship. So, the crew made a Japanese flag overnight from available materials and used that to bury the pilot the next day.
Here’s a good (yet sometimes cheesy) video that gives some background on Pearl Harbor, the Kamikaze attack and Captain William Callaghan’s response. You can also see what the Pearl Harbor site is like.
At about 3:50 you can hear some information about the Kamikaze attack that hit the USS Missouri.
Another thing that struck me about the Pearl Harbor Memorial was the site of the USS Arizona. The USS Arizona Memorial is built directly above the wreckage of the USS Arizona itself. The USS Arizona was completely destroyed during the Pearl Harbor attacks when a Japanese bomb penetrated the ship and detonated inside, exploding the ship from the inside out. The wreckage was so complete that the crew inside were never extracted from the ship — and they also wanted to allow the ship to remain as a memorial to the 1,177 sailors and marines that died. It’s chilling to think that while visiting the USS Arizona memorial you are standing just over the remains of so many people. You can even look down into the water and see the wreckage.
There are a lot of great videos on YouTube about the USS Arizona – take a look.
Here are some of my photos:
U.S.S. Missouri Wikipedia Page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Missouri_(BB-63)
U.S.S. Missouri Memorial Website http://www.ussmissouri.com/
USS Arizona Memorial Wikipedia Page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Arizona_Memorial