5 American military history museums and sites in Oahu

While the USS Arizona Memorial is being repaired, get away from Pearl Harbor and check out these spots on Oahu.

As much as there is to do in Pearl Harbor – and trust us, there is a lot – Oahu has so many more interesting and informative places to visit if you are curious about American military history, or if you just want to pay homage. Much of the island served as a base of operations during WWII, and there are museums and military structures, such as observation posts and pillboxes, spread all over Oahu, Perfect Sands from Waikiki to the rugged and rugged hills of the North Shore.

SEE MORE : Your Complete Guide to Visiting Pearl Harbor

Pacific National Memorial Cemetery

Photo: Getty Images

Located in Punchbowl Crater, this national cemetery serves as a memorial to honor the men and women who served in the United States military. Here you can stroll along the site’s ‘Memorial Walk’ – a path lined with various commemorative markers from many organizations – or you can stroll through the perfectly manicured fields and pay homage to some of America’s bravest. Notable burials include Wah Kau Kong, who became the first Sino-American fighter pilot; Norman Keith Collins, a prominent tattoo artist more commonly known as “Sailor Jerry”; American astronaut and engineer Ellison Onizuka; and many more. 2177 Puowaina Drive, Honolulu, cem.va.gov/cems/nchp/nmcp.asp.

Tropical Lightning Museum

The next time you are driving towards the North Shore, do not take the freeway exit towards Wahiawa. Instead, get off at Schofield Barracks, home to the Tropic Lightning Museum. Collection of souvenirs and artefacts from the 25e Infantry Division, which fought in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and more recently Iraq and Afghanistan, the museum was officially recognized as a provisional museum of the United States Army by the chief of military history. Outside the historic center are huge military machines, including a Sherman tank, while its interior is lined with exhibits and galleries that show the triumphs and challenges of the 25e Infantry division confronted during its campaign in the Pacific. 361 Waianae Ave., Schofield Barracks, garrison.hawaii.army.mil/tlm/index.html.

Brewseum and Brave Museum House

Owner Glen Tomlinson runs the Brewseum bar.
Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino

If you want to see an impressive collection of WWII artifacts and relics, while having a drink, head to Kakaako and visit the Brewseum & Home of the Brave Museum. The bar has been open since 1991, and owner Glen Tomlinson organized tours of Oahu for Pearl Harbor survivors, with the pub as the last stop. The bar sells personalized microbreweries named after regiments or pieces of WWII history, like the 442 Go for Broke IPA. If you’re looking for a hidden talk-easy, head up the stairs at the back and secretly knock (that’s the Morse code for V) to access the well-hidden Wiki Waki ​​Woo Bar and Lounge. 901 and 909 Waimanu St., Kakaako, brewseums.com.

SEE MORE: The Brewseum on Oahu holds unique WWII treasures and great local beers

Hawaii Army Museum

Just beyond the glamor and glitzy Waikiki is the United States Army Museum of Hawaii, located in the Fort DeRussy Military Reserve. The museum features a large collection of WWII relics, such as small guns, an AH-1 Cobra helicopter, and the former coastal artillery battery, the Randolph Battery, which was fitted with two 14 guns. inches on endangered carts. Also inside the museum is the “Gallery of Heroes”, which honors the recipients of the Medal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross. 2131 Kalia Road, Waikiki, hiarmymuseumsoc.org.

Pillbox and Observation Stations

One of Oahu’s most famous pillbox trails, the Lanikai Pillbox Hike offers perfect views of Kailua.
Photo: Kevin Allen

Strategically placed high up in the mountains of Oahu are numerous military pillboxes and observation stations. And while they’re no longer used to spotting possible enemies or threats off the coast of Oahu, they’re still often visited by hikers and thrill seekers looking for epic views. Notable examples of these pillbox hikes include the Lanikai Pillbox Hike on the east side of the island and the scenic, family-friendly Ehukai Pillbox Hike on the north coast.

SEE MORE: How to Do the North Coast Scenic Hike to Ehukai Pillbox Hike


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