Eighty-five years ago, in December 1941, the United States was pulled into the largest and most destructive war in human history. In the end, the allies triumphed over the fascism of Germany, Italy and Japan. The latter nation, by attacking the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, ensured a titanic struggle for mastery of the vast ocean and its periphery would be waged to the end.
This will be the last major opportunity to mingle with veterans of the Greatest Generation, especially those who are Pearl Harbor survivors (an 18-year old in December 1941 will be 103 today, while one from 1945 will be 99!). This Pearl Harbor guided tour will take us to the island of Oahu in Hawaii to examine the beginnings of America’s involvement in the great struggle. We will visit two ships, lying end-to-end, that encapsulate the war – the USS Arizona, under its memorial, where the war began that terrible Sunday morning, and the USS Missouri, on whose decks the allies accepted complete Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945. We will also see numerous other sites of the war, from ships, submarines and aircraft to Army garrisons and mountain observation points. We will attend several significant WWII remembrance events throughout the week and incorporate them into the itinerary as the schedule is announced.
In addition to the Pearl Harbor tour, we will also visit many places associated with Hawaiian history from its founding as a kingdom
This fully guided and immersive staff-ride will explore the people and places of the Pacific Theater from December 1941 to September 1945. We will walk the beaches, explore the towns, and follow the operations from the “infamy” at Pearl Harbor through the jungles of the Marianas – Saipan, Guam and Tinian — to the final climactic battle of Okinawa and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
The events of 1941-45 continue to inspire long after the guns have fallen silent. This Pacific trip will bring guests to the beaches, cliffs and rugged ridges and fields; and villages, towns and cities where the Greatest Generation made their most indelible mark. From Seamen at Pearl and in the battle of the Philippine Sea; to Airmen on Tinian and above the beachheads; to Marines and Soldiers in intense fighting and brutal slugfests on Saipan’s Purple Heart Ridge and Death Valley and on Okinawa’s Sugar Loaf, Hacksaw Ridge and Shuri castle. Meanwhile banzai and kamikaze attacks threatened disaster at any moment. Then, we will arrive in Hiroshima to discuss the use of atomic weapons to end the war.
The WWII expedition unfolds over ten days and nine nights with stories of all the Allied participants as well as those of the Japanese defenders and civilians.