Advertisement
Travel

Hawaii: Japanese bomber to go on display for 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor
The cockpit and fuselage of a World War II-vintage Japanese plane undergoing restoration at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.
(Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor)

A Japanese bomber believed to have been involved in the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor has returned to Hawaii in time for the 75th anniversary of the raid that drew the U.S. into World War II.

The Nakajima B5N torpedo bomber, dubbed “Kate” by the American forces, is the focus of a five-year restoration program at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, on Ford Island adjacent to what’s known as Battleship Row — the USS Arizona, Oklahoma and Utah memorials.

Ford Island, then a U.S. Army airfield, was struck by the first torpedoes and bullets to hit Hawaii, prior to the Japanese attack on the Pacific Fleet on Dec. 7, 1941.

“An aircraft can be scrambled much more quickly than ships can, so they attacked the airfields immediately,” museum historian Burl Burlingame says.

Advertisement

A model of the Japanese bomber nicknamed Kate sits near the remnants of one of the actual planes at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, where it is being restored.
A model of the Japanese bomber nicknamed Kate sits near the remnants of one of the actual planes at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, where it is being restored.
(Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor )

Although Japan’s imperial navy built more than 1,100 of the torpedo bombers, only “bits and pieces survive today,” Kenneth DeHoff, the museum’s executive director, says in a news release.

The museum has only the fuselage and wings of the plane and is seeking the nose and other missing parts.

Nearly 75 years after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, bullet holes remain in the windows of a hangar at the Pacific Aviation Museum on Oahu’s Ford Island.
Nearly 75 years after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, bullet holes remain in the windows of a hangar at the Pacific Aviation Museum on Oahu’s Ford Island.
(Jay Jones/Los Angeles Times )

Advertisement

In addition to a modern museum, guests can also visit the iconic red-and-white control tower as well as Hangars 37 and 79. The restoration work can be observed in Hangar 79, where bullet holes from Japanese planes still pockmark the windows.

“When you’re in these buildings, you’re in a place that’s like Lexington or Concord or Chateau-Thierry or Iwo Jima or Afghanistan,” Burlingame says. “It is part of the history and culture of America to revere where people died for freedom.”

The museum is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $25 for adults and $15 for children ages 4 to12.

Info: Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, (808) 441-1000

MORE

Confront our history — and ‘unspeakable acts’ — at the site of the Sand Creek massacre

Explore caves. Scale 6th century fortress walls. Savor fresh-caught fish. The pleasures of barely discovered Macedonia.

Cocktails and cots on horseback safari into Colorado’s back country

Advertisement


Newsletter
Get our weekly Escapes newsletter
Advertisement