Here is a little history of Hanger 37, which is the gateway to the Pacific Aviation Museum:
Today, hanger 37 is the entry point for visitors to Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor. On the day of the attack, ti was a very different place. It was the hanger for utility squadron VJ-1. During the attack, it fired back at the Japanese from machine guns in the back seats of its J2F-1 "Duck" amphibious biplanes. It also serviced SBD dive bombers so that the two-seat Douglas' cold fly out to find the Japanese fleet. It aslo sent out five of its own JRS-1 aircraft armed only with a few Marines carrying rifles. One JRS-1 nearly found the Japanese fleet, a discovery that would have led to the death of everyone on the aircraft.
Hanger 79 is an 80,000 square foot seaplane hanger. The hangar doors' blue glass windows, at each end, are still riddled with bullet holes left by the Japanese attack. During the war it was a maintenance and engine repair facility filled with fighters, bombers and patrol aircraft that were based in Pearl Harbor or en route to the front lines.
You should definitely start in Hanger 37 where all the big displays are. Then walk around the outside to Hanger 79, on the way you will pass the outdoor parking for a larger number of the jet aircraft the museum has acquired.
I could have spent 2-3 hours at this museum but our day was drawing to a close and the family was getting a little tired at that point.
|A6M2 Model 21|
|Ford Island and battleship row. the museum is located in the hangers at the far end of the island on the left.|
|The remains of the Zero that crash landed on Niihau|
|Douglas SBD Dauntless|
|The old aircraft control tower on Ford Island, apparently complete with Pearl Harbor era battle damage|
|F-105G Thunderchief (Vietnam era, a family friend flew two tours in Vietnam in this aircraft, not the one on display though)|
|MiG-21 (I think)|
|T-33 Shooting Star|
|B-17E Flying Fortress. This is the one that was pulled out of a swamp on Papua New Guinea. Currently undergoing restoration|
|My great uncle would have occupied this spot as a bombardier on B-17Fs and Gs in Europe.|
|TBM Avenger in the back undergoing restoration|
|A late model AH-1|