How the USS Oklahoma Memorial at Pearl Harbor got started
On my trip in 2000 to show my young son Pearl Harbor,
it disturbed me that the Oklahoma seemed to me to be forgotten.
I toured the Punch Bowl National Cemetery and couldn't locate the remains of the crew of the Oklahoma either.
None of the grounds keepers at the Punch Bowl knew where the crew of the OKIE was interred.
I discovered later after my trip the crew were buried in mass graves with markers listing the amount of bodies in each grave and the word
"Unknown Dec 7, 1941".
Kevin King and his childhood friend Sen. Jim Reynolds
When I returned home I contacted a local State Senator Jim Reynolds in Oklahoma and told him my story and showed him my photographs. He made a few calls and organized a committee to place a monument at Pearl to remember the
Then I went out and purchased this domain and started collecting interviews, meeting the vets who served on board, and photographs to tell the story of this great ship.
(Looking at the Missouri where you dismount from the tour buss on Ford Island)
The graves at the "Punch Bowl" were marked by Dec. 7, 2002.
I was there for the memorial marking of the graves
When you have an ideal about anything and you share your vision to others
you will empower them to be part owners and miracles can happen.
After 7 long years and over $20,000 of my personal funds.
(me and Sen. Jim Reynolds)
My friend Senator Reynolds solicited the help of
Congressman Tom Cole.
Mr Cole was more than happy to walk this idea over to the White House, and
I am happy to say the creation of this memorial was signed into law
by President George W. Bush.
The Memorial had to be built in a certain time frame.
The fine people of the great state of Oklahoma, and
The Oklahoma Centennial Commission
donated 1.1 million dollars.
(Pearl Harbor Today)
This is me with my wife and son in front of the new dedicated USS Oklahoma Memorial Dec. 7, 2007
Pearl Harbor Today
The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is located on the Pearl Harbor Naval Base adjacent to the sunken remains of the USS Arizona. The center is operated and maintained by the National Park Service in a use agreement with the U.S. Navy.
The Pearl Harbor Memorial center is free of charge to the public and there are no reservations. Everyone visiting the USS Arizona is encouraged to view a 20 minute film documenting the attack on Pearl Harbor. The film is presented by the Park Service, prior to the short U.S. Navy shuttle boat trip to the memorial itself. Be prepared to wait however. The memorial is a very popular site in Honolulu and the crowds at all hours of the day can be overwhelming. Visitors are issued free tickets for the film and the shuttle to the Arizona upon arrival at the center on a first come, first served basis, but waits of one hour or more are commonplace.
For this reason, go early!
The center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. but the last program of the day and tour starts at 3:00 p.m.
The visitor center is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
Phone: (808) 422-0561
If you are wanting to know the location of the
First take a look at the position from the map below
The very spot where the
The second highest casualties at Pearl
is now concealed.
The Missouri Hawaii's tourist attraction was placed there and the dock pictured below is where the Maryland was moored.
The USS Missouri
(The Missouri is in drydock until next year so you can't visit the USS Oklahoma Memorial)
The Battleship Missouri Memorial is open daily (except Christmas) from 9AM to 5PM. Tickets must be purchased prior to 4PM at the Bowfin Submarine Museum (Adjacent to the Pearl Harbor Memorial).
Transportation to the Missouri/Bowfin ticket office may be arranged through your Waikiki hotel or you can easily arrange your own transportation. City buses run nearby, but probably the best combination of convenience and price is to take a Pearl Harbor Memorial shuttle bus operated by a number of companies on Oahu. They generally charge about $3 per person, one way. Should you take the city bus, we recommend you catch the Express B on Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki, transfer to Express A at Punchbowl and Beretania, and debark at the Pearl Harbor Memorial. Buses run about every 15 minutes.
By automobile from Waikiki, take the H-1 Freeway. The second exit past the airport exit is marked "Pearl Harbor Memorial.' Take that exit. Past the Navy Base, you'll notice the Pearl Harbor Memorial on your left, along with the USS Bowfin Memorial Park. The free trolley to the Missouri runs from in front of the Bowfin Memorial Park.
Do not expect to drive directly to the Missouri on Ford Island. Ford Island is still an active Navy Base, and you must have a pass issued by the Navy to gain access with your private vehicle.