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Road Trip To Pearl Harbor's Ford Island Control Tower, Opens to Public with New View

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The Shoen family of U-Haul funded the elevator that will lift visitors to the observation deck for a panorama of America's WWII aviation battlefield

HONOLULU and PHOENIX, May 27, 2022 -- The historic Ford Island Control Tower at Pearl Harbor is finally ready to open to the public – and with a view perhaps more powerful and poignant than any Hawaii has to offer.

The tower fittingly opens for operations on Memorial Day in honor of those who died during the Attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

Ticket options include the Top of the Tower Tour, a first-class guided tour of the 15-story, 168-foot structure, with access to a restored elevator and the observation deck to behold "Freedom's View," a stirring 360-degree panorama of America's WWII aviation battlefield. There are only 120 of these tickets available each day.

Advanced tickets are available at or by calling (808) 441-1000.

Standing in disrepair for decades, the tower has undergone more than $7 million in restoration work since 2012. The addition of a working elevator was made possible by the Shoen family of U-Haul, a company founded by a U.S. Navy veteran and his wife in 1945.

U-Haul Chairman Joe Shoen will speak at a special dedication ceremony on Saturday at Pearl Harbor, and 120 auction winners will be granted first public access to the tower on Sunday. A display in the tower lobby pays homage to the U-Haul WWII veterans who served in the Pacific Theater.

"Reopening the Ford Island Control Tower is another way to honor the memories and preserve the stories of the brave individuals who sacrificed their lives defending our freedom," stated Joe Shoen, son of U-Haul founders L.S. "Sam" and Anna Mary Carty Shoen. "Our history must be shared with future generations. This Memorial Day, and every day, U-Haul honors our veterans and active military members for their service and sacrifice."

The project holds added significance to U-Haul, which has been headquartered in Arizona since 1967. The Top of the Tower Tour offers views of the Pearl Harbor National Memorial featuring the USS Arizona Memorial, as well as Battleship Row, where eight ships were bombed and four sunken, the Arizona among them.

Rod Bengston, Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum Director of Exhibits, Restoration and Curatorial Services, noted the following sites can also be observed:

  • Military bases and airfields at Hickam, Wheeler, Bellows, Ewa, Schofield, and Kaneohe, where 188 U.S. military aircrafts were bombed
  • Ewa Plains, where the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service initiated the attack
  • Hospital Point, where the USS Nevada was beached
  • The Ford Island runway, surrounding shipyards, and historic buildings

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

"From the tower, it's easy to imagine the thunderous rain of bombs and bullets coming down, erupting in fire, chaos and death," Bengston said. "Now, however, visitors will also be able to grasp a sense of peace and tranquility that comes from the historic view."

Elissa Lines, Executive Director of Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, said the tower stands as a symbol of resilience and peace. "It's time for the world to witness Pearl Harbor from an aerial perspective," Lines noted.

Plan your Pearl Harbor visit or contribute to the upcoming final phase of tower restoration work at

Learn more about the history of U-Haul and its commitment to supporting veterans at

About U-HAUL

Since 1945, U-Haul has been the No. 1 choice of do-it-yourself movers, with a network of more than 23,000 locations across all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces. U-Haul Truck Share 24/7 offers secure access to U-Haul trucks every hour of every day through the customer dispatch option on their smartphones and our proprietary Live Verify technology. Our customers' patronage has enabled the U-Haul fleet to grow to approximately 186,000 trucks, 128,000 trailers and 46,000 towing devices. U-Haul is the third largest self-storage operator in North America and offers 876,000 rentable storage units and 75.1 million square feet of self-storage space at owned and managed facilities. U-Haul is the largest retailer of propane in the U.S. and continues to be the largest installer of permanent trailer hitches in the automotive aftermarket industry. U-Haul has been recognized repeatedly as a leading "Best for Vets" employer and was recently named one of the 15 Healthiest Workplaces in America.


Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is located on Historic Ford Island, where bombs fell during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Walk the Pearl Harbor battlefield where the attack began, enter the bullet-scarred hangars, and see the control tower and aircraft of the battle, including a Japanese Zero and the B-17 Swamp Ghost. Hear the stories of World War II heroes and their response to the attack that changed our nation and world. Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum's mission is to steward America's first World War II aviation battlefield. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that depends on membership, volunteers, and donations for support. To join, volunteer or support, visit