In Hawaii, Pearl Harbor Day is a reason to have a parade in Waikiki and celebrate the day with ceremonies at the newly refurbished World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, formerly known as the Arizona Memorial – as it still is to most visitors. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the December 7th attack on Pearl Harbor.
The Pacific Aviation Museum is a new addition to the museum grounds. A smaller version of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the Pacific Aviation Museum focuses on World War II, with models of Japanese and American planes, and stories of heroes, including Doolittle’s famous Raiders. One of the exhibits describes a civilian incident on the day of the Pearl Harbor attack: a Honolulu lawyer and his son were flying their small private plane that morning and found themselves in the middle of the Japanese raid. When I visited, I was amazed to find that they had escaped to safety with only a few bullets in their plane.
Their unexpected adventure is documented in December 1941, a new book by Craig Shirley. Bill Burlingame includes Shirley’s book in his article for the Honolulu Star/Advertiser, listing new publications with “fresh insights and information” about this historic date. He noted however that, unfortunately, their names were misspelled in Shirley’s book – Roy Vitousek became Ray Buduick.