A few months ago I told you about exploring World War II history at Pearl Harbor. And while Pearl Harbor tops the list for most Hawaii visitors as a must-see World War II site, history and military buffs will no doubt want to delve deeper. From war memorials to a museum housed in a solid concrete battery, these spots will satisfy the most avid WWII (or any war for that matter) enthusiast.
Hawaii Army Museum – The history detailed at this museum, housed in Battery Randolph at Fort DeRuss, reaches as far back as ancient times. Battery Randolph was built to defend the island from attack and could withstand direct blasts from a 2,000-pound artillery shell — which proved useful during the several attacks it has endured. Exhibits outline events of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Located adjacent to Waikiki Beach, the museum and Fort DeRussy are within easy walking distance of hotels like the Waikiki Parc and the Outrigger Reef on the Beach. Admission is free. Audio tours are available for a nominal fee.
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific - The resting place of more than 50,000 U.S. war dead, the cemetery is situated inside Punchbowl Crater in the heart of Honolulu. Follow the memorial pathway honoring soldiers from 20th century wars, including those who served during World War II.
Haleiwa War Memorial – Sixteen men from the Waialua-Kahuku area lost their lives during World War II. At Haleiwa Beach Park on Oahu’s North Shore, a memorial to these men overlooks the Pacific Ocean. There is no entry fee to visit the memorial and visitors will find picnic facilities nearby.