Pearl Harbor’s Ford Island Control Tower opens to the public with a new view


The Shoen family of U-Haul funded the elevator that will take visitors to the observation deck for a panorama of America’s World War II air battlefield

HONOLULU and PHOENIX, May 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Historic Ford Island Control Tower at Pearl Harbour is finally ready to open to the public – and with a outlook perhaps more powerful and poignant than any other Hawaii has to offer.

The tower appropriately opens for service on Memorial Day in honor of those who died during the attack Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941.

Ticket options include the Top of the Tower Tour, a premier guided tour of the 15-story, 168-foot building with access to a restored elevator and observation deck to see “Freedom’s View,” a sweeping 360-degree panorama, seen from America’s World War II aviation battlefield. There are only 120 of these tickets per day.

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

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

U-Haul Chairman Joe Schoen will speak at a special dedication ceremony on Saturday Pearl Harbour, and 120 auction winners will be granted public access to the tower for the first time on Sunday. An exhibit in the Tower Lobby pays homage to the WWII U-Haul veterans who served at the Pacific Theater.

“The reopening of the Ford Island Control Tower is another way to honor the memories and preserve the stories of the brave people who gave their lives in defense of our freedom,” he said Joe SchoenSon of U-Haul founders LS “Sam” and Anna Mary Carty Shoen. “Our history must be shared with future generations. On this memorial day and every day, U-Haul honors our veterans and active military members for their service and sacrifices.”

The project has additional meaning for U-Haul, which is headquartered in Arizona since 1967. The Top of the Tower Tour offers a view of the Pearl Harbor National Memorial with the USS Arizona Memorial, as well as Battleship Row, where eight ships were bombed and four sunk Arizona among them.

Rod BengstonPearl Harbor Aviation Museum Director of Exhibits, Restoration and Curatorial Services noted that the following locations can also be observed:

  • Military bases and airfields in Hickam, Wheeler, Bellows, EveSchofield and Kaneohwhere 188 US military planes were bombed
  • Ewa Plains, where the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service initiated the attack
  • Hospital Point, where the USS Nevada was stranded
  • The Ford Island airstrip, surrounding shipyards and historic buildings

“From the tower it’s easy to imagine the thundering rain of bombs and bullets coming down and erupting in fire, chaos and death,” Bengston said. “But now visitors can also feel the calm and serenity that the historical view exudes.”

Elissa Lines, executive director of the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, said the tower is a symbol of resilience and peace. “It’s about time the world got an aerial view of Pearl Harbor,” Lines remarked.

plan your Pearl Harbour Visit or contribute to the forthcoming final phase of the tower restoration work at

Learn more about U-Haul’s history and commitment to supporting veterans at

About U-HAUL

Since 1945, U-Haul has been the #1 choice for do-it-yourself moving with a network of more than 23,000 locations in all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces. U-Haul Truck Share 24/7 provides secure 24/7 access to U-Haul trucks via the customer shipping option on their smartphones and our proprietary Live Verify technology. Thanks to the patronage of our customers, the U-Haul fleet has grown to approximately 186,000 trucks, 128,000 trailers and 46,000 tractors. 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 in owned and managed facilities. U-Haul is the largest retailer of propane gas in the United States and remains the largest installer of permanent hitches in the automotive aftermarket. U-Haul has repeatedly been recognized as a leading “Best for Vets” place to work and was recently named one of the 15 healthiest places to work in America.


The Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is located on historic Ford Island, where bombs fell during the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Walk through 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 the heroes of World War II and their response to the attack that changed our nation and the world. The Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum’s mission is to oversee America’s premier World War II air battlefield. It is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that relies on membership, volunteers, and donations for support. To get involved, volunteer, or support, visit


Jeff Lockridge
Sebastian Reyes
E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 602-760-4941



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